One Way to Leave Your Lover: Tell Security He’s Underage Playing Blackjack

Written By Katie Kohler on April 14, 2022 - Last Updated on October 17, 2022
Rivers Casino Poker Room brings back poker tournaments.

“50 Ways Leave to Your Lover” collided with the many ways to get booted from a casino.

A female guest at Rivers Casino Philadelphia tipped off a table games supervisor that her underage boyfriend was playing Blackjack in the high-limit room.

The incident occurred on Sept. 19, 2020, when he slipped by distracted security without being carded.

Underage gambler turned in by girlfriend

The table games supervisor then asked the brazen boyfriend for ID. He gave a driver’s license that showed he was over 21 but the supervisor believed the picture did not match the person. Security and Pennsylvania State Police were called and the jilted Romeo eventually confessed to being 20-years-old.

Surveillance showed the dimed-out date was on the casino floor for about an hour and bought in for about $1,650. He did not drink alcohol and played at two high-limit tables without being carded.

The boyfriend was cited for being on the gaming floor under the age of 21, escorted off the property, and permanently evicted.

Rivers Casino got slapped with a $10,000 fine plus a $2,500 administrative fee.

Regulators, not relationship advisors

“If it wasn’t for the girlfriend, would he have ever been discovered to have been underage?” asked Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board chair Denise Smyler.

“Perhaps, it depends,” answered John Donnelly, a Rivers Casino Philadelphia lawyer. “All the dealers are trained to look for underage gamblers and oftentimes they do find them. Whether he would have been spotted or not, I don’t know.”

“He was at several high roller tables and no one asked for ID. Is anything being done about retraining?” added Smyler.

Donnelly added that the staff at Rivers are trained frequently and they are not supposed to let anyone who does not look forty years old on the floor without being carded.

“He might have looked 21 but he didn’t look 40,” said Smyler.

Of course, the big question remained about why the girlfriend turned him in.

“I don’t know,” said Donnelly. “I was intrigued by that, too. I’m sure it wasn’t a good relationship afterwards.”

Underage gambling laws in PA

Underage gambling is no joking matter. You must be 21 to gamble at casinos in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Some consequences of underage gambling include:

  • Arrest and fines
  • A conviction
  • Banned from casinos
  • Photo and information placed on a website
  • For more information about the effects of the impact of underage gambling, visit

Lead image from Rivers Casino.

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist and Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania. Katie especially enjoys creating unique content and on-the-ground reporting in PA. She is focused on creating valuable, timely content about casinos and sports betting for readers. Katie has covered the legal Pennsylvania gambling industry for Catena Media since 2019.

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