On Wednesday, Mohegan Sun Pocono was fined $70,000 by state regulators for five separate incidents where people under the age of 21 were illegally on the gaming floor. Tony Carlucci, president and general manager of the Mohegan Sun Pocono, has since told the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board that the casino has taken precautions by reducing the amount of entrances to its gaming floor.
In the state of Pennsylvania, individuals under 21 are barred from entering a gaming floor with the exception of floor access for employees who are 18 years old or older. On two separate occasions a 20-year-old male was allowed to enter the Mohegan Sun, one of these times he was allowed to gamble at a slot machine. Other instances involved a 15-year-old girl who played at slot machines, a 20-year-old who won $200 playing roulette, and a 12-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy who were allowed on the gambling floor with their mother.
The Details of the Fine
The $70,000 fine was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board following a number of incidents involving underage patrons; three of these incidents actually involved underage gambling. Mohegan Sun will also have to pay $2,500 to cover the board’s enforcement costs.
The delivery of this fine came at an inopportune time, as the meeting on Wednesday was primarily for a license renewal hearing for the casino. Despite the staggering number of incidents, Mohegan Sun insists that it is taking the right steps to avoid any further problems. In addition to reducing the number of entrances to the gaming floor, the casino has also reduced the width of the entrances almost in half. Lyn Segars, Vice President of Casino Operations, also said that these adjustments have allowed for the number of security guards at each entrance to increase.
Mohegan Sun also fired four employees who were held responsible in some way for letting these underage peoples in. New identification card scanners were installed in the casino to help detect any fake IDs. All in all the reported costs of the changes made was more than $200,000. Gaming board Chairman David Barasch expressed he would be interested to see how these implemented changes affect the casino’s underage problems.
The Optimistic Approach
Despite its issues, Mohegan Sun Pocono has proved to have a positive impact on the community. Since opening in November of 2006, it has paid $1.35 billion in taxes to the Commonwealth, according to Anthony Mcgowan, Chief Financial Officer. Other reports detail the casinos employment statistics, boasting 1,700 employees with the majority of them living locally and working full time. Linda Lloyd, Director of Hearings and Appeals for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control board said a decision will be made about the license renewal in the upcoming months.