June 29, 2023 3 min read


PGCB Issues New Fine to Casino over Underage Gambling

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has fined a prominent operator in the Keystone State over underage gambling

The casino in question is Harrah’s Philadelphia which has received a penalty of $35,000 for allowing individuals under the legal gambling age to enter the premises and place a bet. The state laws say that no person who is under 21 is allowed on the premises of casinos in any capacity let alone to gamble.

No Direct Involvement in the Wrongdoing – Still Bearing Responsibility

The particular case harks back to March 19, 2021, when Harrah is alleged to have allowed three individuals who were under the age of 21 to enter the gaming area. This was done without the knowledge of the casino, as the individuals accessed the casino without going through any verifications by scaling a wall.

Even though Harrah’s Philadelphia did not abet the wrongdoing in any way, the onus is on the property to ensure that such incidents do not happen in the first place. A total of four violators were caught in the end, however. Two of them ended up gambling on blackjack and slots for a period of time before the infringement was registered by the casino and submitted to the regulator.

The PGCB obligates any license holder to immediately notify the commission about breaking their licensing agreements under a penalty of losing the licensee’s permit should an attempt be made to hide wrongdoing. The fine was awarded during a meeting that was held to determine whether Harrah’s Philadelphia should be allowed to also reduce the size of slots and table games. This is hardly the first penalty issued against a casino even when the venue has not been at fault directly.

The pandemic has made many properties in Pennsylvania and beyond rethink what the right size of a gaming floor should be, seeing value in scaling down certain aspects of gaming floors to ensure that the venues operate smoothly.

Harrah Looking to Boost Its Sportsbook, Seeks to Phase Older Slots

Harrah’s though is thinking in terms of what appeals to consumers the most with the casino actually interested to cut back on some of its older slots and tables, phasing out 145 should the PGB allow. In terms of table games reduction. Harrah’s has requested to have five of those removed as well.

The PGCB and state are understandably loath to allow too much trimming for fear of revenue loss, but Harrah’s Philadelphia SVP and general manager Zara Alayan has assured that the new space that is opened up will be used to put the sportsbook in a better position. The PGCB has been particularly wary of the sector as well, going after individual licenses and revoking some.


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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