Mount Airy Casino Resort Fined $90K Over Free Slot Play
The Mount Airy Casino Resort in Pennsylvania was fined $90,000 due to employees exceeding the amount of free slot play allowed.
Across the United States, casinos are allowed to provide promotions to players. From free slot play to hotel comps, such incentives bring players back time and time again. In every state, there are rules and regulations that must be followed regarding such promotions. When the regulations are violated, the gaming facilities then face fines or other punishments, even potentially losing their gaming license. In Pennsylvania, the Gaming Control Board recently fined the Mount Airy Casino Resort $90,000 after finding that employees gave away more free slot play than is legally allowed.
Free Play No-No
The Board found that 10 employees of the casino gave $262,500 in free play to players that was not authorized. One employee has pled guilty to a federal charge after she gave one individual $140,000 in free play. This employee faces a charge of conspiracy to launder money.
In Pennsylvania, casinos have to provide a comp matrix to the board for approval when it comes to handing out free slot play. The matrix provides data as to what employees are allowed to offer via free plays. This data includes how much each employee can provide players.
The individual who handed out the most money was Ashley Brosius, a VIP coordinator for the casino. An investigation that started in July 2017 by the Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement found the large discretion in free play payments.
Brosius admitted to providing free play to a person that was not qualified to access the reward. She added the slot play to existing player rewards accounts and then gave the individual a duplicate rewards card of that existing account holder. The PIN was changed so the card could be used by the co-conspirator.
Brosius used a sheet that had data for the biggest losers to decide which player accounts to use in the scheme. She chose players who typically play table games as she felt they would be less likely to see that they had received free slot play that was not used.
The player that used the reward cards used the free play and then cashed out any winnings. Brosius was given a tip from the wins. According to prosecutors, the tips Brosius received were from $150 to $300. The tips were provided several times a week and started in November 2014.
The investigation revealed that Brosius used 30 player cards in the scheme. Some accounts were used more than once. It was a player that reported the free play they did not receive that led to the investigation and the casino finding out about the employee’s reward scheme.
Brosius was sentenced back in May 2019 to two years of probation for the crime with six months of house arrest.
Changing the Free Play Format
While the investigation against Brosius were a key part of the investigation, there were other issues found connected to free play that should not have been issued. The settlement agreement with the casino says that officials of the venue told investigators that they have trouble with player tracking systems and this kept them from monitoring free play awards correctly. From a time frame of September 2013 to November 2015, the investigation found that 10 employees of the casino gave free play a total of 491 times.
As a result of the investigation, the casino had to pay the $90,000 fine. They also agreed to provide $2,500 to officials to pay for the cost of the investigation. The casino also worked to change the way their free play is provided so it can be tracked better and this type of instance will not happen again in the future.