Live! Philadelphia has been slapped with a $10,000 fine by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for failing to prevent patrons from entering back-of-house areas reserved for employees.
At its monthly meeting Wednesday morning, the state regulator approved a consent agreement with the casino which covers two incidents that took place in May 2021 and February 2022.
In the first instance, a female patron was able to spend more than two hours roaming various offices, corridors, and stairwells supposed to be off-limits before she was caught and accused of taking money and credit cards from employees’ belongings. In the second case, three patrons initially blocked from entering Live! Philadelphia because they did not meet proof-of-vaccination requirements in place at the time were able to circumvent that by entering through areas reserved for employees.
An attorney for Live!, which is owned by The Cordish Companies and its Stadium Casino LLC affiliate, did not dispute the findings and said various steps have been taken in training, procedures, and physical barriers to prevent recurrences.
More cases of gamblers putting kids at risk
Returning to an issue that has been a regular concern for the state board, it permanently banned from Pennsylvania’s casinos eight individuals cited for leaving children unattended in vehicles while the adults gambled.
There was no indication of any of the children suffering injury, but the violators were all added to the gaming board’s involuntary exclusion list and several were charged with child endangerment by police on the scene at the time. One of those charged was a man who left five children ranging in age from 3 to 11 in a vehicle in the parking garage of Harrah’s Philadelphia for 25 minutes while he went inside to gamble. Another defendant awaiting trial left a 2-year-old alone for 32 minutes while he was inside Presque Isle Downs & Casino.
In some of the cases, security personnel from casinos spotted the vehicles in which children were left unattended, and in others it was other patrons who identified the problem when walking past the cars and reported it to casino security.
The involuntary exclusion list has had more than 1,000 people placed on it since inception for various infractions that also include cheating, theft, underage gambling, and other offenses.
At the meeting, the board also considered four requests from individuals who previously placed themselves voluntarily on the state’s self-exclusion list designed to keep problem gamblers out of casinos for their own good. In each case, the individuals requested removal from the self-exclusion list prior to the end of the period they had set for themselves. The board, however, found that none offered an acceptable reason to be removed from the list early.
The board had originally been scheduled to hear arguments concerning efforts by The Cordish Companies to block awarding of a mini-casino license to Philadelphia businessman Ira Lubert for a project near State College, but it has postponed that discussion to a later meeting.
Photo: Gary Rotstein