Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mohegan Sun operator fined $125K

The casino’s two violations are first of those types the state Gaming Board has seen.

June 27. 2013 1:36AM

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Downs Racing LP, the operator of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs casino in Plains Township, has been fined $125,000 by the state Gaming Control Board for a pair of violations, including one involving slot machines.

The smaller fine of $35,000 was levied for shredding documents that are required to be retained for five years and were therefore unavailable upon request to state auditors. In addition, Downs Racing officials failed to notify the board of the shredding incident even though they were aware of it soon after its occurrence.

Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the board, said this was the first time in the board’s history such a violation was found. The reason the second, and much larger, fine was issued was also a first for the board, he said.

The $90,000 fine stemmed from the discovery by the board’s Bureau of Gaming Laboratory Operations of discrepancies in information contained in the Slot Machine Master List the casino submitted to the board.

Specifically, according to a consent agreement between the gaming control board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and Downs Racing LP, during an inspection involving 50 slot machines, the gaming lab discovered differences in settings on six of the machines compared to the submitted settings on the master list.

The fine of $90,000 was ordered using a $15,000 per machine penalty.

Harbach said he could not offer comment on the details of the violations, instead saying the information contained in the consent agreements speaks for itself. The consent agreements were approved Wednesday during the gaming board’s public meeting in Harrisburg.

The slot machine master list details information including the type of slot machine, the denomination it takes and the payout percentage. It’s unclear which of these were found to be out of compliance with the master list, and both Harbach and his colleague Richard McGarvey said they could not comment. At the top of the consent agreement are the words “IN RE: PAYTABLE VIOLATIONS.”

According to the consent agreement regarding the illegal shredding of documents, among those documents shredded inappropriately in June 2011 were food and beverage credit card receipts, slots and table “drop” forms, bank documents and ticket redemption paperwork.

The consent agreement notes that once it was learned the paperwork was shredded, casino executives were notified but Mohegan Sun “failed to notify the board of the incident.” On Aug. 15, 2011 the state Department of Revenue, during a routine audit, requested documents from Feb. 19 and were informed they were mistakenly shredded on June 27. The department informed the gaming control board.

Efforts to reach Mike Bean, the president and general manager of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, were unsuccessful.

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