Summary: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has announced two casinos of the state were fined due to various infractions.
With 12 casinos currently in operation, Pennsylvania is one of the top states in the US when it comes to casino gaming. The state’s gambling industry is regulated by the Gaming Control Board, a group that works to ensure operators are providing services based on rules and regulations. Any infractions can result in fines as well as the loss of licensing. Just recently, the Gaming Control Board announced that two casinos in the state were hit with major fines after the Office of Enforcement Counsel was able to reach an agreement with the operators who were found to have completed several infractions.
Meadows Racetrack & Casino
The first venue hit with a fine was the Meadows Racetrack & Casino. The operator of the venue, Washington Trotting Association, Inc., was handed an $80,000 fine as a penalty based on an investigation conducted at the venue.
It was found that employees of the racetrack had provided more than $830,000 in complimentary services for an eight year time frame. The services were given for free starting 2009. Based on state law, only certain employees are authorized to provide complimentary services and there is a cap as to how much can be given to patrons. The authorization to offer such incentives are approved by the GCB and must be maintained as such.
Valley Forge Casino Resort
The second operator to face a fine by the Gaming Control Board is the Valley Forge Convention Center partners, L.P., the owner of the Valley Forge Casino Resort. A fine of $50,000 was issued by the regulator after the venue was found to have been subject to a few infractions. Such issues included failure to maintain accurate and reliable financial records as well as failure to safeguard their revenues and assets.
Additional issues included conducting regular audits and ensuring the segregation of audit functions and responsibilities. The issues were realized by the regulator after an employee of the casino tried to collect reimbursements connected to his employment in a fraudulent manner. The employee is now subject to criminal charges.
The casino was also issued another fine, this time for $30,000. This fine was issued based on non-compliance regarding guidelines. The Gaming Control Board found the operator guilty of failing to follow their framework and rules regarding Spanish 21, a blackjack game.
In the state, there are ten commercial casinos and racetrack venues in operation along with two smaller resort facilities. A 13th casino will be constructed in the future as a gaming venue is planned for Philadelphia. Currently, the casinos of the state provide $1.4 billion in revenues via taxes every year. The majority of these funds are used to reduce taxes for property owners in the state.
These gaming venues are constantly under scrutiny by the Gaming Control Board, as the regulators check to make sure that the operations are running smoothly and in accordance to the regulations and rules in place. Venues that are found to be in violation of the regulations, like The Meadows and Valley Forge, are subject to fines due to the type of violation.
Operators must make sure that they follow the guidelines set and avoid having to pay any outrageous fees. The state is gearing up to offer an additional gaming option with sports betting, which will cause operators to make sure that additional regulations are followed to ensure proper operations with the new activity.