Pennsylvania’s gambling market has been operating very smoothly with a few major issues since the state’s gambling expansion plans kicked off a few years back. Even so, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has been very vigilant in fulfilling its mandate of overseeing the gaming sector and ensuring the safety of the consumers. On Wednesday, September 28, the gaming control board levied a whopping $135,000 in fines to two of the state’s most popular gambling venues, further proving that it is very serious about compliance and consumer protection.
In both cases, the violations that were committed involved slot machines. The casinos signed off on the consent agreements where they owned up to the violations. At both venues, the employees were found to have given their customers more complimentary slots than allowed. While complimentary awards such as the aforementioned slots play are allowed as a marketing tool, the casino operators are required to have an approved plan that includes limits on how much of it can be awarded and who is allowed to give them out.
Mount Airy’s Violations
According to the gaming control board’s press release, Mount Airy’s violations was the more serious of the two and thus carried a $90,000 fine under a consent agreement. Investigations into the matter revealed that discretionary slot play was issued by Mount Airy’s employees in “amounts in excess of amounts that were authorized through the Comp Matrix.”
As it turns out, Mount Airy also failed to adhere to its Internal Controls resulting in up to 491 instances where its employees issued discretionary free slot play that exceeded the authorized limit. The amount in question was a whopping $262,500.
To make it worse, there was even a case of the alleged theft of $140,00 by one of the casino’s employees. This employee has since been charged with a felony theft crime.
Rivers Philadelphia’s Case
Unlike Mount Airy’s case, Rivers Philadelphia’s violations did not involve any criminal activity and thus, it was slapped with a lesser fine of $45,000. The venue was, however, found to have been involved in 405 instances in which the Comp Matrix limit was exceeded by their employees – these sum up to $25,562 in excess free slot play.
While the casino operator has agreed to pay the fine, it did however offer up some explanations. According to some of the Rivers Philadelphia representatives, some of the employees who had issued the slot play were actually newly authorized to so. However, their job titles were yet to be updated to reflect that.