May 24, 2024 3 min read

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Pennsylvania Casino Feels Regulatory Pinch Over Young Guests’ Gambling

Wind Creek Bethlehem has been chastised by the Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board over a failure to keep underage individuals off gaming floors

The Keystone State gambling regulator, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has slapped Wind Creek Bethlehem with a $125,000 fine over the casino’s failure to prevent dozens of players from entering illegally on the casino floor.

A Few Bad Apples Spoil the Casino Basket

As a result, 11 underage guests aged 18-20 were able to participate in gambling on the casino floor in 10 instances. The PGCB had to go a long way back to discover the infringements, which attests to its capabilities as a watchdog, and also that no breaking of the state’s gambling laws is likely to go unnoticed.

The period of the reported incidents ranges from November 2021 through September 2023. Yet, the onus is not entirely on the casino, and underage individuals have also faced ramifications over their actions. Some of the visitors were permanently banned from the venue, and others were warned by the state police.

In the meantime, the PGCB has itself been trying to raise awareness for underage gambling, trying to drive the message home that gambling when too young exposes players to an unnecessary risk that could grow into addiction down the road.

Although underage gamblers do happen to hit the floor successfully, which mandates constant improvement of the standards used by casinos to police floors. For the most part, Wind Creek Bethlehem checks the IDs of patrons who may look too young.

In the two years the violations were registered, members of staff were able to check 737,257 individual IDs, demonstrating a strong commitment by the casino to ensure that it does not allow underage gamblers to play.

Regardless, the ultimate fault is said to lie with the property, which will have to continue tightening measures to prevent further infringements in the future.

No Way Out for Casinos Who Allow Underage Gambling

At the same meeting discussing the Wind Creek Bethlehem cases, the board also discussed the case of a woman who had been put on the involuntary exclusion list in the state after she left her four-year-old child in the parking lot while she went inside to gamble. The case dates back to 2017.

“Adults are prohibited from leaving minors unattended in the parking lot or garage, a hotel, or other venues at a casino since it creates a potentially unsafe and dangerous environment for the children,” the regulator said, motivating its decision to not lift the suspension. The woman has not been formally identified either back when the accident occurred or in the latest PGCB transcript.

The PGCB has been busy this year, issuing six-figure penalties earlier in 2024 to two offending casino properties.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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