Harrah’s Philadelphia Fined $35,000 For Underaged Individuals Accessing Gaming Floor

Written By Corey Sharp on June 30, 2023
Harrah's Philadelphia Casino received a fine worth $35,000 this week from the PGCB for allowing underaged gambling.

During its monthly meeting on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) fined Harrah’s Philadelphia $35,000 for allowing four underaged gamblers on the gaming floor.

Though the PA casino initially denied entry, the underage guests still found a way to sneak in onto the floor.

The PGCB issued an additional fine this week to a licensed fantasy sports operator for $13,000.

4 underaged guests sneak onto Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino floor

On March 19, 2021, four underaged guests gained access to Harrah’s Philadelphia’s gaming floor. Harrah’s Philadelphia previously denied entry to five total individuals, including these four. The PGCB provided background on the four individuals:

  • A 20-year-old male with the initials TR walked right past the security checkpoint without being stopped. TR spent 73 minutes on the gaming floor and played a slot machine for approximately one minute during that time.

Three other individuals entered the gaming floor by climbing over a glass partition that separated the casino floor from the non-gaming area. The individuals were aided by a couch, which helped them climb over the partition.

  • 20-year-old male, XB, spent 46 minutes on the gaming floor. XB bought into a $180 blackjack game and played for five minutes. The individuals would also play slot machines.
  • 17-year-old, PR, gained access to the gaming floor for one minute but did not game.
  • 18-year-old, OR, reached the gaming floor, too, but also did not game.

Security notified state police of the underage guests on the floor, with the exception of PR. Security confiscated $140 of gaming chips from XB. Criminal charges were filed against XB, TR and OR, along with being issued permanent evictions.

Harrah’s Philadelphia responds to fine

Harrah’s Philadelphia VP of Casino Operations, Matthew Conner, addressed the PGCB:

“On behalf of Harrah’s Philadelphia, we agree with the facts and we agree with the terms of conditions of the consent agreement. Harrah’s wants to emphasize it has a very strong culture of compliance and takes this issue very seriously.”

Conner told the PGCB that Harrah’s Philadelphia removed the couch and no one has climbed the partition since the incident.

PA fantasy content operator nabbed for $13,000

The PGCB fined licensed fantasy sports operator, SportsHub PA. LLC, $13,000 for a change of control of its license without the PGCB’s approval. SportsHub entered a partnership with SHGN Acquisition Corp., but did not petition the board until the transaction was complete.

CEO Rob Phythian cited a misunderstanding with his legal team, which, Phythian claimed, did not understand PA law. Phythian hired Michael Trainor of Blank Rome LLP, who is based in PA, as a result.

Other Harrah’s Philadelphia updates

In addition to getting fined, the PGCB granted Harrah’s Philadelphia request to modify its gaming floor. The casino is removing nearly 150 slot machines and reducing the gaming floor from 104,561 square feet to 86,661 square feet.

The PGCB also reported two former Harrah’s Philadelphia employees left a 14-month-old child in a vehicle in the parking garage for 10 minutes while they entered the casino’s dealer school and human resources office. They were both terminated, with no criminal charges filed.

Nine total children were left unattended at PA gambling facilities, placing seven more individuals on the state’s Involuntary Exclusion List this month.

Photo by Shutterstock.com
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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