At its latest meeting, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved fines in the amount of $150,000 for local gaming operators who failed to comply with the various regulations that the PGCB has in place.
The board also listened to a new plan from Boyd Gaming, which tackles the issue of unattended children at gambling venues in Pennsylvania, which has been recurring in recent months. Two additional individuals were added to the involuntary exclusion list as the board works closely with the operators to tackle the problem.
The four fines issues by the PGCB were related to particular incidents that took place during the previous months, with three operators fined in total.
Mountain Thoroughbred Racing Association was fined for two separate incidents.
In the first instance, a fine of $57,000 was issued for allowing nine self-excluded individuals to access internet gaming via Hollywoodcasino.com and Barstoolsportsbook.com. A second fine of $25,000 was issued for allowing underage persons to access the gaming floor and gamble at their Hollywood Casino.
The second operator that was fined was PID LLC, which operates the Presque Isle Downs and Casino. A $45,000 fine was issued for violation of the board’s safety protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular relating to the serving of alcoholic beverages.
Chester Downs and Marina LLC, was fined for $22,500 for failure to protect assets on two separate occasions. In one instance, a patron stole $955 worth of chips from a table, while in another $24,000 in cash was stolen from a cash drawer that was left unattended.
Boyd plan to protect unattended children
The issue of children being left unattended in the parking lots of casinos has caught the eye of the PGCB and other regulators in the country, who have been placing individuals of involuntary exclusion lists and fining those found guilty of such offences.
At the last meeting, the board placed two adults on the involuntary exclusion list for leaving their children unattended in vehicles in casino parking lots. The children were 6, 7 and 8 years old and are just the latest cases of this form of neglect.
Boyd, which operates the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Montgomery County, has been working closely with the PGCB to create a plan to mitigate the problem. The operator has come up with a five-step plan and allocated $776,000 in cash toward implementing it.
Boyd has already started four parts of the plan, including reinforcing training of its employees, deploying infrared/4K cameras throughout the property, updating signage on unattended children and receiving additional support from outside security and the Upper Merion Police Department.
The operator plans to extend surveillance camera coverage to the casino’s towers in 2022.
The plan came as a result of Boyd’s active approach towards the issue of unattended children, which has been plaguing the gaming facilities throughout Pennsylvania. The board applauded Boyd for their efforts.
“It has become increasingly disturbing to the board of the reports of these incidents by irresponsible adults,” said PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole. “Since casinos have a joint vested interest with the PGCB to protect the integrity of gaming, we are appreciative of the efforts by Boyd Gaming and look forward to additional similar plans by other casino properties in Pennsylvania to work on its self-policing efforts before a tragedy occurs.”
The PGCB is scheduled to meet again at 10 am on Wednesday, December 15 at the PGCB’s Public Hearing Room in Harrisburg.