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Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Levies Fines For Free Slots Play Violations At Two Casinos

HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) today fined Mount Airy #1, LLC, operator of Mount Airy Casino Resort and SugarHouse HSP Gaming, L.P, operator of Rivers Casino Philadelphia for violations related to the issuance of complimentary free slot machine play.

The fines, totaling $135,000, were the result of Board approval at its public meeting of consent agreements between the PGCB’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and the two casino operators.

Complimentary free slot play is widely offered by all casinos in Pennsylvania as a marketing tool to build and reward patron loyalty and drive repeat visits of customers who might otherwise patronize a casino outside of the Commonwealth. Casinos must, however, submit to and gain authorization from the Board of a “Comp Matrix” which outlines who can issue complimentary free slot play and the maximum dollars that each employee is authorized to issue, and then adhere to the plan.

The fine of $90,000 against Mount Airy #1, LLC stemmed from an investigation by the PGCB’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement (BIE) on the authorization and issuance of discretionary free slot play. The investigation revealed that discretionary free slot play was issued by employees in amounts in excess of amounts that were authorized through the Comp Matrix. In this case, the investigation showed that Mount Airy did not adhere to its Internal Controls leading to 491 instances where employees issued discretionary free slot play exceeding the authorized limit and totaling $262,500, including the alleged theft of $140,000 by one employee. That employee was later charged with a felony crime.

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