Tuesday, November 2, 2010

State Enforcing Gaming Self Exclusion Laws

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board says it has cited four casinos for allowing individuals on the state’s Self-Exclusion List to play since the law went into effect. The most recent was the Mount Airy Casino Resort, which was fined $40,000 for allowing individuals on the list to gain access to the gaming floor, and for sending promotional mailings to a self-excluded individual. Once a person places him or herself on the Self-Exclusion List, gaming facilities in the state must deny them all gaming privileges and cannot issue them a player's club membership. The casino must also remove self-excluded persons from mailings and other forms of advertising or promotions. Gaming Control Board Office of Compulsive and Problem Gaming, Acting Director Liz Lanza says just letting a player on the floor will not result in a fine but if casino management does not follow its “compulsive and problem gambler plan” it can be sighted.

Gaming Control Board employees based at the casinos and casino employees that have contact with players are given information about individuals on the list including their names and photographs and are asked to keep an eye out for those people. People on the Self Exclusion List are also subject penalties if they try to flout the law. Lanza says all of their winnings will be confiscated and they will be subject to arrest for trespass. So far the state has caught people violating the terms of the Self Exclusion List 220 times. She says nearly all of them were recognized by casino or Control Board staff but some were not noticed until they won a jackpot and had to produce their identification. Lanza says right now there are 1,825 individuals on the list. Anyone can sign up for a one-year, five-year or lifetime ban. For those on the one and five-year lists they are allowed to remove themselves after the set period of time. Lanza says nearly 200 people have taken themselves off the list.

This is the fourth time a casino in Pennsylvania has been fined for Self-Exclusion List violations. The first two fines were levied on the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in December 2009 and April 2010. The third fine was against Parx Casino in April 2010. Those fines ranged fro $5,000 to $20,000. The fines against Mt Airy cover 4 separate incidents.

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