Thousands Taken from One-Armed Bandit Leads Penn Gaming Board to Issue Fines

Posted on: April 22, 2021, 01:27h. 

Last updated on: April 22, 2021, 10:34h.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced it issued fines totaling $17,500 after its Office of Enforcement Counsel reached agreements with three licensees that committed infractions.

Pennsylvania Gaming fines
A Love’s Truck Stop in Choctaw, Okla. On Wednesday, Love’s was one of three businesses fined by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board at its April meeting. Love’s paid a $5,000 fine after a customer was able to steal more than $3,000 from a video gaining terminal. (Image: Loves’s Travel Stops)

Board members approved the agreements during its monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Two of the violations were related as Pennsylvania officials fined both Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores and Second State Gaming for a theft that occurred at a video gaming terminal (VGT) area in a Love’s Truck Stop in central Pennsylvania.

The other violation occurred when Parx Casino’s online gaming vendor released an unauthorized game to the public inadvertently.

Failure to Monitor VGTs Becomes Costly

On Aug. 20, Jeffrey Murphy spent more than three hours in the VGT area of the Love’s in the early morning hours. During that time, he was able to access the cash box of one of the machines and stole more than $3,200 in cash or cash equivalents.

He did that while Love’s had two employees working at the store. The one responsible for monitoring the security cameras had other responsibilities, including restocking shelves, as well as handling coffee and food preparation. The other worker was in the fast-food location and also did not monitor the area.

As Love’s employees tended to their other duties, Second State Gaming, the VGT provider, also failed to have an on-call employee monitoring security cameras.

Murphy was eventually caught, arrested, and went to trial.

According to David Tepper, assistant enforcement counsel for the PGCB, no Love’s employees were reprimanded. However, the company has since installed a sensor that alerts employees whenever a patron enters the VGT area.

Love’s agreed to pay a $5,000 fine for failure to monitor. In addition, it also must pay the PGCB $2,500 to cover enforcement costs incurred during the investigation.

Second State agreed to pay a $7,500 fine for its failure to monitor, as well as another $2,500 for enforcement staff costs. Jennifer Caruso, the company’s vice president of operations, told Board members that the company immediately instituted a 24-7 monitoring program, which includes observing gaming terminals that are closed during overnight hours.

PGCB Fines Parx for Unauthorized Slot

A testing error led to Parx Casino paying a $5,000 fine.

On July 12, 2019, a GAN employee was testing two online slot machine games and managed to post them on Parx’s online gaming platform. At the time, the state had only approved Parx to offer online sports betting, for which GAN provided the platform.

The slots games were available for about 16 minutes. Two players were able to make nearly 500 wagers on one of the games during that time frame.

One of the players made 466 bets during that time and wagered $3,576. That individual lost $393. The other player played 33 times, betting a total of $37, and lost $28 of that.

Bryan Schroeder, chief compliance officer for Parx, said the company refunded both players their losses and self-reported the violation. Parx also established procedures to keep other unauthorized games from launching.

In addition to the fine, Parx also must pay $2,500 to cover enforcement staff costs.