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Pennsylvania Casinos And Poker Rooms Face $77,500 In Fines


Pennsylvania casinos and poker rooms running afoul of various gaming regulations continue to get hit with hefty fines.

In fact, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced last week it had approved fines totaling $77,500 against three casinos for various violations.

According to the gaming board, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh was fined a total of $42,500 for two violations. The casino was fined $22,500 for three violations of the procedures for handling self-excluded gamblers. It was fined another $20,000 for holding poker tournaments without prior approval by the gaming board.

The three violations involving self-excluded gamblers included:

  • Providing a female patron who had placed herself on the 1-year self-exclusion list with a player’s card and allowing her to play table games;
  • Providing cash advances to a male patron who had placed himself on the 5-year self-exclusion list and allowing him play table games; and
  • Issuing a player’s card to a male patron who had placed himself on the 1-year self-exclusion list and allowing him play table games.

Pennsylvania casinos and poker rooms self-exclusion list

The self-exclusion process in Pennsylvania allows individuals to ask to be excluded from all legalized gaming activities in the state. Those individuals are then put on a list and prohibited from collecting any winnings, recovering any losses, or accepting anything of value from casinos in the state.

Gamblers can place themselves on the self-exclusion list for terms of 1-year, 5-year, or for their lifetime. However, they must make a request to the gaming board to be removed even after the term has expired.

If anyone on the list steps foot on a casino floor in the state, they can be arrested for trespassing. If they gamble and win, that money is seized. It is then used to support the state’s compulsive and problem gambling programs.

Rivers Casino poker tournament fines

Rivers Casino’s $20,000 fine was for holding five poker tournaments prior to its 2017 poker schedule being submitted to and approved by the gaming board. State regulations require all casinos to get gaming board approval prior to hosting all poker tournaments.

In the meantime, Mohegan Sun Pocono was fined $25,000 for procedural violations that occurred in its poker room. The violation occurred when the poker room failed to report a 2016 incident in which compromised decks with incorrect cards were used in a poker game.

Finally, the Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino was also fined $10,000 for failing to prevent underage access to its gaming floor. The gaming board claims SugarHouse Casino personnel permitted a 19-year-old male access to the gaming floor. Once there, he reportedly gambled at a slot machine.

Players must be 21 or over to gamble at a casino in Pennsylvania. However, pari-mutuel betting at horse racing facilities is available for any 18 and up.


Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.