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Pennsylvania Casino Fined For Being Too Generous With Slot Comps

Valley Forge Casino Accepts Fine From Control Board

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Pennsylvania gaming regulators have fined the operator of the Valley Forge Casino Resort over free slots play extended to high rollers.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said in a news release that it has levied a $50,000 fine over the casino “giving out excess amounts of free slot play in violation of its approved complimentary matrix.”

“Per regulation, each licensed facility in Pennsylvania is required to have in their internal controls a matrix of employees authorized to award complimentary services along with specific limits on the amount that may be authorized. An investigation by the PGCB’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement discovered that free slot play had been awarded during 2015 and 2016 by employees not authorized to do so or, if authorized, beyond limits of the authorization, which lead to total awards higher than an approved level.”

Per a report from Philly.com, regulators found that Valley Forge employees who were not authorized to extend slot credit gave 557 complimentary slot-play transactions totaling $411,000. According to the casino, no fraud took place.

“We have absolute confidence that every one of these free-play transactions was issued to a real customer with a real business reason,” said Michael Fabius, the casino’s lawyer.

Pennsylvania casinos hand over more than 50 percent of their slots revenue to the state. In a separate news release, regulators said that the 2017/2018 Fiscal Year slot revenue from the 12 brick-and-mortar casinos was $2.35 billion, which yielded nearly $1.2 billion in tax revenue.

The Keystone State slots market is still down compared to the 2011/2012 Fiscal Year, when winnings and tax revenue were $2.47 billion and $1.34 billion, respectively.

To date, since the opening of the first casino in November of 2006, revenue from slot machine play has totaled $24.8 billion, resulting in tax revenue of $13.3 billion.

Pennsylvania’s casino industry has more than 25,000 slot machines.

In December, regulators fined the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino $550,000 for “failure over a multi-year period to follow approved internal controls regarding free slot play.”

“A direct result of this failure was a fraud scheme by two employees and a patron that occurred between May 2014 and April 2015 and resulted in the issuance of at least $478,350 in free slot play which was then converted to cash totaling $422,147,” regulators said with regards to Mohegan Sun Pocono.