Hollywood Casino Fined For ‘Unapproved’ Poker Tournament

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course was fined $20,000 by the state for hosting last year’s poker tournaments which were not duly sanctioned by government regulators.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved the fine Wednesday, authorising a settlement arrangement between its compliance counsel office and the owners of the casino.

In the present case, Hollywood’s Compliance Director Alex Hvizda self-reported the incidents after he became aware of the problems, which included:

  • A “Labor Day Classic” poker tournament that, Hvizda said because of staff turnover in the poker department, never was submitted to PGCB for review.
  • Recurring weeknight poker tournaments that were run at a $120 entry fee, instead of the $80 entry that Hollywood was approved for. Penn National had a $120 entry approved for weekends, but $80 for weeknights. In total, Hvizda said these tourneys were run 95 times at the wrong price between Feb. 5 and Sept. 12.

Since then, Penn National has applied for and received approval to run all of its annual $120 tournaments, resulting in bigger prize pools, Hvizda said.

The violations were the first reported for Hollywood since the renewal of its casino licence in November 2018.