Penn Requests Probe into Former Director for $75,000 Fraud

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A former Penn National Gaming Director of Benefits is facing multiple charges after the company reported her for allegedly misappropriating over $75,000 worth of gift cards that should have gone to the company’s employees. Berks County detectives have conducted an investigation confirming Penn’s suspicions.

Former Penn National Gaming Director Charged with Fraud

A Berks County district attorney’s office press release has claimed that Denis M. Bitler, a former Penn National Gaming director, is now facing charges in relation to $75,000 worth of missing gift cards, which Ms. Bitler allegedly stole.

Based on the official release, Ms. Bitler has been charged with theft by deception and unlawful taking or disposition, the official statement continued. The activity dates back to October 2014, but Penn National Gaming has only recently brought up the case with competent authorities.

On July 9, 2019, Berks County detectives launched a probe into Ms. Bitler’s alleged past misappropriation of company funds. Based on the investigation, Ms. Bitler served as a Director of Benefits in the period between October 2014 and June 2019, and ran a wellness program.

The program would often distribute gift cards worth $25 or $50 to employees. As part of the program, Ms. Bitler had to order the cards and then forward them to human resources where the gift cards would then be sent to employees on Penn National’s facilities, such as racetracks and casinos.

She also avoided paying $50 per month by stating that her family members were non-smokers when they in fact were. The losses amassed by Penn National Gaming over the period amounted to $75,350.

Penn National Continues to Dominate Gaming and Sports Betting

Penn National owns over 41 properties across 19 jurisdictions, making it one of the best-known companies in the United States in the gaming and racetrack segment. The company has over 50,500 slot machines and 1,300 table games across its properties.

The Wyomissing-based company began operating with a single racetrack over 50 years ago to become one of the most recognizable names in the industry in the U.S.

Meanwhile, analysts have been positive of the company’s growth and success. J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff confirmed Penn’s Overweight rating last week. One particularly successful development has been the rapid expansion of sports betting in the country, starting as early as May 2018.

Penn National Gaming already runs operations in Iowa, Nevada, and holds the market in Illinois. Pennsylvania is another key market for Penn, but the company is also eyeing expansion in places such as Michigan, Missouri and Ohio as early as 2020.

Based on the current developments, Penn’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) should continue to grow in the new year as well, Mr. Greff has confirmed. Meanwhile, Penn introduced some changes to its executive structure as early as December 3, naming Chris Rogers as SVP and Chief Strategy Officer, and Todd George as Executive VP, Operations.

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