Pennsylvania Casinos Fined by State Gaming Control Board for Self-Exclusion Violations
Posted on: April 28, 2016, 12:22h.
Last updated on: April 28, 2016, 09:37h.
Four Pennsylvania casinos will pay a total of $103,000 to the state’s Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for violations stemming from involuntary and self-exclusion programs, underage gambling, and allowing an unlicensed employee to work inside a casino.
The violators include the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, Meadows Casino in Washington County, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course northeast of Harrisburg, and the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.
The PGCB is one of the more active state gaming regulators in the United States.
This series of fines levied this week is the fourth such issuance of financial penalties on casinos this year. The $103,000 will bring the total penalties collected by the PGCB in 2016 to more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Excluding Self-Exclusion Program
The major chunk of the $103,000 relates to the SugarHouse and Meadows casinos failing to block gamblers who had either voluntarily placed themselves on exclusion lists or were placed on the PGCB’s Involuntary Exclusion List by state regulators.
According to the PGCB statement on the penalties, three self-excluded males played table games and participated in the poker room for a total of six and a half hours, with one even being issued a player’s rewards card.
SugarHouse also permitted gamblers on the Involuntary Exclusion List into the casino. The statewide blacklist consists of “career or professional offenders, cheats, and other individuals whose presence in a licensed facility would be inimical to the interest of the Commonwealth or of licensed gaming,” says the PGCB.
The two offenses will cost SugarHouse $48,000 in total.
Located 25 miles southwest of downtown Pittsburgh, the Meadows Casino is being held accountable on similar charges. The PGCB says the casino distributed promotional materials to two individuals who were on the self-exclusion list and welcomed both men to the gaming area on multiple occasions.
The Meadows will pay $40,000 for the safeguarding failure.
“The Meadows Casino understands the seriousness of compulsive gambling and has in place a variety of programs to help minimize its impact on consumers,” Meadows Director of Marketing Kevin Brogan said. “We have taken additional measures in an effort to prevent future occurrences at our facility.”
The two other violations handed down this week were each for $7,500. The Hollywood Casino will pay for allowing an underage patron to gamble on slot machines, while the Rivers Casino will pony up for using an unlicensed table games dealer for 16 days.
Strict No Confidence
Gaming regulators are hampering down on casinos as the issue of not only problem gambling but also money laundering has recently gained many media headlines.
Earlier this month, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) fined the Sparks Nugget in Nevada $1 million for lax anti-money laundering protocols.
FinCEN Director Jennifer Calvery recently announced her departure from the agency. Under her direction, FinCEN focused on banking financial institutions and expanded its oversight to card clubs and casinos.
Like most other state regulators, the PGCB is charged with protecting the interest of the public when it comes to dealing with legalized gambling. That is no easy task considering the growing popularity among criminals in using casinos to move money.