Harrah’s Casino & Revel Casino Fined by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement
New Jersey regulators have fined two Atlantic City casinos more than $107,000 for a series of violations. The two casinos being fined are Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Revel Casino Hotel. The various procedure violations were unrelated from one another, and each involved what appears to be one-time incidents.
Harrah’s Casino is owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp, which owns 4 of the 11 casinos currently in operation in Atlantic City. Revel Casino is going through a bankruptcy procedure at the moment, after having an operating loss of $130.2 million in 2013. The property’s ownership group continues to search for a buyer.
Harrah’s Casino Fined $70,000
Harrah’s Casino was fined $70,000 for its improper use of security staffing levels. The casino failed to meet the minimum security procedures, due to a variety of differenct decisions. When security officers called in sick, Harrah’s would not find replacements, so the staff was too small.
Also, the security officers sometimes were given duties they were not supposed to have. In other situations, roving security guards were assigned to fixed locations, which made it easier for criminals to circumvent security. In each case, the management of the Harrah’s Casino Atlantic City appeared to have known the laws in question–or should have known them–which might explain why Harrah’s was fined almost twice as much as Revel Casino.
Revel Casino Fined $37,500
Revel Casino Hotel was fined $37,500 for three separate violations. The casino failed to collect cards in the proper fashion after a blackjack game. Security rules regarding the collection of cash boxes also were violated.
The mistakes by Revel Casino staff appeared to have been honest mistakes. One involved the misspelling of a name in a computer database, while another involved the mishandling of cards after a hand–which resulted in the casino losing $2,000 on that hand. In a third case, a mistake was learned three hours into a gaming session, and was rectified as soon as it was learned. Yet in all three cases, the incidents involved clear violations of the law, which required the gaming operations to face consequences.
The smaller fine for Revel Casino might reflect the more passive nature of the violations, since the self-exclusion laws are a highly charged debate topic among New Jersey voters in general.
Self-Banned Players Allowed to Gamble
Finally, the resort staff was accused of allowing self-excluded gamblers to make wagers, which is against New Jersey state laws. Self-exclusion laws allow a problem gambler (or anyone else) to place themselves on a banned list. Once on the list, the casino is to consider the person blacklisted and unable to gamble, even if the person wants to places wagers.
The idea is that problem gamblers are compulsive, so they self-exclude in a calm time before their compulsion takes over. Allowing such a person to gamble is seen by the state regulators as exploiting a person’s psychological conditions for profit.
The Cases of PY and AD
Revel Casino was accused of allowing two different people who were on the Atlantic City self-exclusion list take part in gambling activities at their complex. The people were designated “PY” and “AD”, who were considered two different incidents.
On six dates in July and August 2013, “PY” was allowed to gamble at Revel Casino up to 27 hours. Apparently, “PY” was signed up for the self-exclusion list, but the Revel Casino functionary who had entered their information had misspelled his name on their computers. Therefore, when he came to the casino to play, he did not show up on their banned list.
In a different casino, the gambler “AD” was allowed to play blackjack for 3 hours on July 13, 2013, before their illegal activities were discovered and the patron was barred from gambing.
$2,000 Blackjack Hand Mishandled
In another incident, a blackjack player was playing three hands at one time, wagering $2,000 on each of the three hands. The dealer improperly cleared and collected the blackjack cards after one round of play, but the customer disputed the outcome of one of the hands. When the dealer reassembled the cards, the hand in question was reassembled incorrectly, giving the patron a winning hand instead of a loss.
Settlements Reached with Divison of Gaming Enforcement
New Jersey casinos have shown a downturn in their overall revenues since 2006. Though the fines may not involve a significant percentage of the budget, Atlantic City operations need all the money they can hold on to.
In each case, the gaming companies reached settlements with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on the amount of the fines to be imposed. Both casinos declined comment on the fines.
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