Iowa Issues $50,000 in Fines to Three Gambling Establishments

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Iowa will seek to issue fees to any wrongdoers who may have been coloring around the lines of existing gaming regulation, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) said on Tuesday during its annual meeting.

The regulator has already issued several penalties for the amount total of $50,000 with a number of established companies covering what the Commission has perceived as regulatory shortcomings.

Iowa Has Fined Three Properties for Minor Regulatory Violations

Prairie Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel will have to meet a $20,000 penalty over two separate miscommunications between the racebook, trainers and the Iowa Board of Stewards (BoS) back in August 2019. According to track officials, the winning horse, Taruca, had been allowed to run in the race with an expired blood test which was against regulation.

The track has since stepped its efforts, firing the employee in charge of the test and vowing to uphold the Commission-issued regulatory standards. At the same time, the racetrack also failed to log in trainer Robert Roe’s Jessica Glitters, a contender for the Iowa Breeders’ Oaks event.

This was the second mishap that has prompted the regulator to issue the final amount of the fine. Meanwhile, another property that has come under fire is the Lakeside Hotel and Casino which has been slapped with a $20,000 fine.

According to the IRGC, the casino has involuntarily allowed minors to access the gambling floor, although no specific details were disclosed. Meanwhile, Dave Monroe, the general manager at Lakeside Hotel and Casino, has acknowledged certain shortcomings that have been resolved.

Speaking of underage gambling, Isle of Capri Bettendorf was also fined $10,000 for reportedly allowing a minor to access the casino floor and gambling products. What is interesting in this case is that the property’s staff had done what was legally asked of them, but the 17-year-old boy’s mother had distracted the staff so that the youngster can sneak in and play.

On this particular occasion, the IRGC’s penalty seems to be disproportionate to the alleged “shortcoming.” The good news is that in all three cases none of the properties have failed to comply with active regulation in any significant way.

Problem Gambling and Upholding Regulation

If anything, the properties have upheld regulatory norms, but some shortcomings in streamlining the internal communication process have prompted slips. In honesty, the newly-regulated sports betting sector continues to impress – both in terms of growth as well as the overall security and safety of the sector.

Even the mass legalization of sports betting in 2018 hasn’t yet led to any uptick in the number of gambling addiction, although the North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction reports that 2.6% of adult Americans are affected by gambling addiction. In the United Kingdom for example, the numbers of problem gamblers hovers around 2 million people according to the local regulator, the UK Gambling Commission.

Iowa has already put in place its Gambling Treatment Program (IGTP) and it is one of the few initiatives that focus on assisting problem gamblers.

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