The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) levied two casinos with fines related to free slot play on Wednesday.
Mount Airy Casino and Rivers Casino Philadelphia will have to pay fines totaling $135,000. The fines came as a result of board approval at PGCB’s public meeting of consent agreements between its Office of Enforcement Counsel and the two casino operators.
Limits on free slot play
Complimentary or free slot machine play is a common marketing tool used by casinos. However, there are restrictions.
Free slot play plans are required to be authorized by regulators who use a “Comp Matrix.”
The Comp Matrix outlines who can issue complimentary free slot play and the maximum dollars that each employee may issue.
Mount Airy casino employee charged with money laundering conspiracy
An investigation by the PGCB’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement (BIE) regarding the authorization and issuance of discretionary free slot play resulted in a $90,000 fine against Mount Airy Casino.
The investigation showed that Mount Airy Casino did not adhere to its internal controls, which led to 491 instances where employees issued discretionary free slot play exceeding the authorized limit and totaling $262,500. It included the alleged theft of $140,00 by a Mount Airy employee. The employee, Ashley Brosius, age 30, of Stroudsburg, was charged with money laundering conspiracy.
Brosius created duplicate players club cards that she then loaded with free slot play. She gave the unauthorized cards to a co-conspirator to gamble with, primarily at slot machines. Brosius received two years of probation plus house arrest for money laundering in 2017.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia fined for free play
The fine for SugarHouse HSP Gaming was $45,000. A similar investigation like the one at Mount Airy discovered the issuance of discretionary free slot play at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.
BIE discovered 405 instances in which employees handed out free slot play that was in excess of authorized amounts according to the Comp Matrix. It resulted in $25,562 free slot play at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.
September PA casino slot revenue
In September, Mount Airy finished sixth out of the 12 state casinos for total slot revenue with $12.7 million. It was a 3% increase from last September. Rivers Casino Philadelphia brought in $10.8 million in slot revenue in September, ranking ninth. That represents about a 20% year-over-year decrease. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, all casinos are currently operating at 50% capacity, with some slot machines turned off to enforce social distancing.