PGCB Fines Multiple Pennsylvania Casinos: A November Overview

Casino News


  • PGCB fines Hollywood Casino $40,000 for three underage gambling incidents.
  • Lightning Gaming faces a $5,000 fine for failing to report financial changes.
  • Regulatory actions stress compliance and transparent reporting in the gambling industry.

In a recent move, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) flexed its regulatory muscle by imposing fines totaling $45,000 on Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and PA slot machine manufacturer Lightning Gaming, Inc. Hollywood Casino faced a $40,000 fine for three separate incidents involving underage individuals accessing the gaming floor and engaging in gambling activities during 2021 and 2022. The casino accepted the fines, emphasizing disciplinary measures and corrective actions to prevent future occurrences.

Separately, Lightning Gaming, Inc. received a $5,000 fine for its failure to notify the PGCB of material changes to its financial status, highlighting the importance of transparent financial reporting in the gambling sector. These fines underscore the PGCB's commitment to upholding regulatory standards, ensuring a secure gaming environment, and promoting responsible gaming practices within Pennsylvania's vibrant gambling industry.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course Faces $40,000 Fine

One of the notable fines involved Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, LLC, the operator of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County. The PGCB levied a substantial $40,000 fine against Hollywood Casino for three incidents involving individuals under 21 years old gaining access to the gaming floor and engaging in gambling activities during 2021 and 2022.

Detailed Overview of Incidents:

  1. July 2021: An 18-year-old, identified as DM, utilized a fake ID to enter the casino. Despite the ID failing to scan, the visitor was allowed entry by the assistant security shift manager. During the 29 minutes inside, DM managed to purchase an alcoholic beverage and play a slot machine before being identified and evicted.
  2. November 2021: A 17-year-old, identified as AB, entered the casino without being carded at the door. AB played slots for six minutes and spent 25 minutes on the gaming floor. Alongside another guest, AB attempted to sell jewelry to other customers and left undetected. Police later charged AB with various offenses.
  3. June 2022: A 20-year-old, identified as JB, initially turned away at the entrance, returned after two hours, presented a Colombian passport as ID, and gained entry. JB spent an hour on the gaming floor in close proximity to casino employees before being evicted and charged with summary offenses.

Hollywood Casino representatives acknowledged the violations and accepted the fines, emphasizing the implementation of disciplinary and corrective actions to prevent future occurrences. Tony Frabbiele, Vice President and General Manager of Hollywood Casino, reassured the board of their commitment to ensuring a secure gaming environment.

"We've also taken corrective action with our team members involved in these incidents to ensure they never happen again."

Lightning Gaming, Inc. Hit With $5,000 Fine

In a separate incident, the PGCB imposed a $5,000 fine on Lightning Gaming, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based slot machine manufacturing company. The fine was issued for the company's failure to notify the board of material changes to its financial status, violating compliance requirements.

Financial Reporting Issues:

  • The company neglected to report changes to its debt position and master loan agreement despite reminders during a compliance meeting in 2021.
  • In 2022, Lightning Gaming failed to report financial covenant violations on its master loan agreement, leading to changes in financial ratio covenants.

During the board meeting, Lightning Gaming CEO Brian Haveson explained that he considered the changes to the covenant agreement as minor and believed they didn't warrant reporting. Haveson clarified that the failure to report was unintentional and not driven by malicious intent. He emphasized that the company's financial information is publicly available.

The consent agreement approved by the board mandates Lightning Gaming to pay a civil penalty of $5,000 within five days, along with an additional $2,500 for costs incurred by the board.

Summarizing November's PGCB Fines

The November fines issued by the PGCB underscore the regulatory body's commitment to upholding the integrity of Pennsylvania's gambling industry. Hollywood Casino's fine for permitting underage gambling serves as a stern reminder to operators to maintain stringent age verification protocols. Simultaneously, Lightning Gaming's penalty emphasizes the importance of transparent financial reporting within the sector.

As the PGCB continues to monitor and enforce regulatory compliance, these fines contribute to the overall framework aimed at ensuring fair and responsible gaming practices across the state. Pennsylvania remains at the forefront of effective gaming regulation, with the PGCB playing a pivotal role in maintaining the industry's integrity and protecting both operators and patrons.

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