PA Gaming Control Board Levies $1,167,000 In Casino Fines
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today approved fines totaling $1,167,000 against five casino operators for various violations.
The fines were the result of Board approvals at its public meeting of consent agreements between the PGCB’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and:
- Downs Racing, LP, operator of Mohegan Sun Pocono in Luzerne County, two fines totaling $1,000,000:
- a $550,000 fine for failure over a multi-year period to follow approved internal controls regarding free slot play, the main bank and internal audits; and,
- a $450,000 fine for conducting business with unlicensed gaming service providers.
- Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, operator of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County, which was assessed three fines totaling $90,000:
- a $75,000 fine for an intoxicated patron incident and notification failures;
- a $10,000 fine for an underage gaming violation; and,
- a $5,000 fine for a failure to safeguard assets.
- Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc., operator of the Parx Casino in Bucks County, which was assessed two fines totaling $35,000:
- a $25,000 fine for an intoxicated patron incident; and,
- a $10,000 fine for an unlicensed employee violation.
- Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, LP, operator of the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Montgomery County, which was assessed two fines totaling $32,000:
- A $20,000 fine for record retention violations and approved internal control violations, as well as a failure to cooperate with investigators; and,
- A $12,000 fine for an underage gaming violation.
- Mount Airy #1, LLC, operator of the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County, a $10,000 fine for table games violations.
The $550,000 fine against Downs Racing, LP involved three specific areas of failure in which personnel at Mohegan Sun Pocono failed to follow approved internal controls regarding:
1. The issuance of free slot play - A direct result of this failure was a fraud scheme by two employees and a patron that occurred between May 2014 and April 2015 and resulted in the issuance of at least $478,350 in free slot play which was then converted to cash totaling $422,147.
2. The casino’s main bank cashier functions – An investigation by the PGCB found that between May 2014 and September 2015 on at least 314 occasions, a casino employee inflated the amount owed to a patron by filling in larger amounts on forms given to the main cage than what was actually owed to the patron and pocketed the difference. The failure to safeguard assets by the casino resulted in the theft of $26,151 in this scheme.
3. Internal Audits – On six occasions between 2012 and 2016, casino personnel failed to submit six audits required under its license’s statement of conditions. In addition, its failure to maintain certain records for a required time frame hampered the investigation by the PGCB.
The second fine of $450,000 levied against Downs Racing, LP stemmed from Mohegan Sun Pocono’s vendor relationship with two firms, ReferLocal, LLC and CB POC, LLC, neither of which had licensed its company or employees with the Gaming Control Board as required by law. A November 2017 fine approved by the Board against former Mohegan Sun executive Robert Soper was associated with the business relationship between Soper and ReferLocal, an e-commerce marketing company. CB POC, LLC operates three food establishments within Mohegan Sun Pocono, Johnny Rockets, Betty & Joe’s Coffee Shop, and Wok8.
The largest of the three fines levied against Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, $75,000, was the result of an August 2016 incident in which Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course personnel failed to identify a visibly intoxicated patron. The patron was served 10 alcoholic drinks in a period of 5 hours 43 minutes while also drinking an unknown liquid from a clear plastic bottle kept in her purse. Per the consent agreement, no floor person who observed her properly intervened for an assessment to determine if she needed to be removed from the gaming floor. Additionally, casino personnel failed to provide notification to onsite Gaming Control Board staff or the Pennsylvania State Police on the matter while the patron was on property.
The fine of $10,000 against Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association was the result of an incident in July 2017 in which a 20-year old female gained access to the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course gaming floor and gambled at slot machines.
Finally, Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association was fined $5,000 for a March 2017 incident in which the casino failed to properly safeguard its assets when a patron was provided an overpayment of $9,000 by a cashier at the cage.
The $25,000 fine against Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. was the result of an April 2017 incident in which Parx Casino personnel served alcoholic drinks to a visibly intoxicated patron while he was gaming. In total, 24 alcoholic drinks were served to the patron over a period of 9 hours 55 minutes.
Also, Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. permitted two employees to work without being authorized or licensed by the PGCB, resulting in a $10,000 fine.
The larger fine levied against Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, LP, $20,000, was the result of a number of events held at the facility, including home shows and a mixed martial arts event, in which vouchers to gain access to the casino floor were distributed in violation of regulations and internal controls, along with a failure to keep adequate tracking records related to these distributed vouchers. Additionally, the consent agreement for this fine asserts that Valley Forge Casino was not fully cooperative with the PGCB’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement in its investigative work in this matter.
The second fine of $12,000 against Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, LP stemmed from an incident in April 2017 in which a 19-year-old male received a player’s club card, gained access to the gaming floor of, and then gambled at table games and consumed alcoholic beverages.
The single fine against Mount Airy #1, LLC was for $10,000 for several incidents in which a roulette game at Mount Airy Casino Resort was conducted incorrectly despite previous warning on this subject matter.
The next meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 10, 2018 in the PGCB’s Public Hearing Room located on the second floor of Strawberry Square in Harrisburg.
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry, along with oversight of new gaming initiatives to the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act recently approved through the signing of Act 42 of 2017.
The Commonwealth’s casino industry currently consists of 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos in operation, along with the two smaller resort casinos. These facilities collectively employ 18,000 people and annually generate approximately $1.4 billion in tax revenue from slot machine and table games play. The largest portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners.
Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s casino gaming industry can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.