Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Casino paid $25,000 when the payout was $12

Rivers Casino faces fines
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Mark Belk
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


One gambler proved to be unusually lucky at Rivers Casino last year when a slot machine hit for $25,000.

The payout should have been $12, but the progressive slot machine was improperly set by a technician and returned to play without being tested or certified by state regulators, resulting in the much bigger jackpot.

The May 29, 2010, incident is one of five over the last year in which Rivers slot machines were returned to play without being tested or certified by the state's Bureau of Gaming Laboratory Operations, as required under regulations.

As a result, the North Shore casino is facing fines from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, but just how much it will have to pay is still to be determined after board members rejected a proposed settlement earlier this month.

In voting against the consent agreement, board member Gary A. Sojka described the violations as "extraordinary important" and "more egregious than is met by this consent agreement."

"I'm really concerned that this is a serious, serious issue, and I want that message sent to the entire industry," he said.

Cyrus Pitre, the gaming board's chief enforcement counsel, said officials have had a "little bit more problems" with games being put into play without being tested or certified at Rivers Casino than at other venues in the state.

In addition to the five incidents cited in the rejected consent agreement, Mr. Pitre said there were two others for which the casino received warning letters from regulators.

The five latest incidents involved progressive slot machines, whose jackpots increase in size the longer the games go without hitting. The May 29 episode apparently was the only one that produced an improper payout.

According to the gaming board, the other incidents involved a machine that was released for play without the proper pay table being selected and without the gaming lab's approval and two machines that were released and played by customers even though the gaming lab had asked that they be held back for testing.

The most recent incident occurred in January and involved a machine that was taken out of service because it wasn't hooked up to the state's computer system and then improperly put back into service before being connected. The state was able to retrieve all revenue-related data from the machine once it was tied in, and the casino paid all taxes due.

"There were no negative impacts on patrons at any time, and there was no data ever lost," said Jack Horner, a Rivers spokesman.

The gaming board on Monday had not approved the proposed fine to be paid by the casino under the consent agreement.

Whatever the amount, it was not enough for Mr. Sojka, who argued at the board's June 8 meeting that the penalty "does not say clearly enough to all operators that this is absolutely something to which they must adhere."

"To make sure that we set a proper precedent here, I'm still not willing to approve this consent agreement," he said.

Board Chairman Greg Fajt said he shared some of Mr. Sojka's concerns. "I want to make sure that is a procedure adhered to 100 percent of the time," he said.

In defense of the agreement, Mr. Pitre said regulators took into account the money the casino paid out as a result of the erroneous $25,000 jackpot, the taxes it paid on it and the penalty that was assessed as a result. In all, he estimated that one jackpot cost the casino about $60,000.

"I'm not here to rape and pillage them. But we're here to get their attention," he said.

Richard McGarvey, a gaming board spokesman, said all progressive machines are to be tested by the gaming lab to ensure they're working properly.

As a result of the five incidents, one Rivers slots technician was dismissed and others were disciplined, Mr. Horner said. In the case of the $25,000 payout, "it's important to note that Rivers honored that jackpot," he said, and the winner did not have to return the money. "A procedure was skipped."

To prevent that from happening again, the casino has set up a system to make sure machines are tested or certified before going back into play. It features a verification checklist a technician must follow that includes the required gaming lab testing and also two signatures acknowledging that the gaming lab has tested the machine, Mr. Horner said.

"Rivers takes this matter very seriously. As a result, we have retrained all of our slot technicians about proper procedures," he said.

Gaming regulators and the casino are working on a revised consent agreement that takes into account the board's concerns.

Read more:

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2021   May 2021   April 2021   March 2021   February 2021   January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe