Mount Airy Casino Resort and Rivers Casino Philadelphia have been fined by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for violations related to the issuance of free slot machine games.
The financial penalties given to Mount Airy # 1, LLC and SugarHouse HSP Gaming were the result of the board ‘s acceptance of consent agreements between the Office of Compliance Counsel of the PGCB and the two casino operators at its public meeting.
Elaborating on its evaluation, the state regulator of Pennsylvania explained: “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 patronise a casino outside of the Commonwealth.
“Casinos must, however, submit to and gain authorisation from the board of a “Comp Matrix” which outlines who can issue complimentary free slot play and the maximum dollars that each employee is authorised to issue, and then adhere to the plan.”
A fine of $90,000 against the former resulted from an investigation of the authorisation and issuance of discretionary free slot play by the PGCB ‘s Bureau of Investigations and Regulation. This showed that employees were given free slot play in excess of sums allowed via the aforementioned Comp Matrix.
In this case, it was found that Mount Airy did not comply with its internal controls, leading to 491 instances in which employees gave discretionary free slot play, exceeding the permitted cap and totalling $262,500, including the suspected theft of $140,000 by one employee. The worker was later charged with a felony offence.
The accepted fine for SugarHouse HSP Gaming was $45,000 and came as a result of a similar inquiry by BIE into the issuance of discretionary free slot play at the Rivers Casino Philadelphia facility.
In this case, BIE found 405 instances in which employees issued amounts in excess of those allowed via the Comp Matrix , resulting in free slot play of $25,562.
The inquiry by BIE also found that Rivers Casino Philadelphia did not comply with free slot play procedures and its internal controls for such issuance.