The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board held its monthly meeting on Wednesday and handed out $284,000 in total fines to license holders. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Dealing with errant operators
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has issued fines totaling $284,000 to three license holders. The PGCB approved six consent agreements on Wednesday between the license holders and the PGCB’s Office of Enforcement Counsel. It also approved a couple of non-monetary enforcements.
Boyd Gaming Corporation received a $150,000 fine for failing to disclose all pertinent facts regarding the reasons behind the surrendering of a principal’s license last year. This impacted the ability of the PGCB to make a suitability determination. Boyd Gaming has licenses in the state to operate sportsbooks, online casinos, and land-based casinos.
The person also got drunk and inflicted damage on vehicles in the parking garage while driving.
Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association operates the Penn National Racecourse’s Hollywood Casino. It received two fines totaling $120,000. A $70,000 penalty was for allowing a self-excluded person to take part in gaming at the facility. The person also got drunk and inflicted damage on vehicles in the parking garage while driving.
The other penalty was $50,000 and relates to the operator’s failure to “prevent circumvention of licensing requirements.” Two former employees were directing payments to service providers so these companies could make deceptive PGCB disclosures and pay lower license fees. This led to the “under classification of gaming service providers and lower license applications fees” violation.
The Valley Forge Casino Resort operator Valley Forge Convention Center Partners LLC received a $14,000 fine for allowing a 20-year-old man to enter the casino floor and to play table games.
Avoiding monetary penalties
A few other license holders were subject to scrutiny from the PGCB on Wednesday. Rivers Casino Philadelphia operator Sugarhouse HSP Gaming, LP did not get a monetary fine from the PGCB, but it does have to implement additional surveillance and security protocols after two young children were left unattended in a parked vehicle in the property’s parking lot last year.
Both Pit Stop Travel Plaza, Inc. and Snow Shoe Travel Plaza also avoided fines. Instead, they have to surrender two video gaming terminal establishment licenses, as well as two principal licenses after they were found to not be adhering to certain licensing requirements.
This most recent virtual PGCB meeting was available for the public to stream online. In addition to issuing the fines and enforcements, the PGCB also granted a couple of requests for operators at the meeting.
gave the green light to Harrah’s Philadelphia to reduce its total number of slot machines
It gave the green light to Harrah’s Philadelphia to reduce its total number of slot machines to 1,700 from 2,263. The casino believes that the higher number is no longer optimal with increasing competition and the decrease will also help it enforce better social distancing. It does not expect any loss in staff or revenue by getting rid of some of the older and underused slot machines.
The PGCB also awarded a table games license to the Hollywood York mini-casino. This Penn National Gaming-operated property is set to open in early August and plans to offer 24 table games, 500 slot machines, and a Barstool sportsbook.
The next PGCB meeting will take place on July 14. It will announce in advance of the meeting whether or not it will take place virtually or at the PGCB Public Hearing Room at the Strawberry Square Complex in Harrisburg.
The role of the PGCB is to oversee all gambling operations at the 14 land-based properties in the state, as well as online casinos, online and retail sports betting, online fantasy sports, and video gaming terminals at truck stops. Gambling is big business in Pennsylvania – the state expects to receive over $1.8bn worth of tax revenue this year from regulated gambling activities.