The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has imposed a significant fine on a Philadelphia casino for accepting sportsbook wagers from a patron who was not physically present at the property.

Stadium Casino RE, LLC, the operator of Live! Casino and Hotel Philadelphia received a $100,000 fine for facilitating over $287,000 worth of sports wagers via telephone over an eight-day span.

Violation of the Pennsylvania Gaming Act:

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), these types of bets, known as “proxy wagers,” violate the regulatory gaming rules. The Pennsylvania Gaming Act prohibits casinos from knowingly accepting a wager from anyone other than the individual placing the bet.

As a consequence of these actions, three Live! Casino employees were dismissed and had their gaming licenses revoked by the PGCB. The patron who placed these wagers was also added to the state’s involuntary exclusion list, effectively barring him from gambling in any Pennsylvania casino.

The violations came to light during a public meeting on Wednesday at the PGCB. The board ratified a consent agreement with the Office of Enforcement Counsel (OEC), detailing several sportsbook employees at Live! Casino had placed 15 wagers totaling $287,421 for a patron not present.

Deputy Enforcement Counsel Dustin Miller recounted that the Bureau of Casino Compliance was first alerted to these infractions two years ago. A sportsbook employee had reported that the patron requested three wagers totaling $95,000 via text message, promising to visit the casino to pay for the bets but never showing up. Subsequent attempts to contact the patron were unsuccessful, leading to an investigation that uncovered 12 additional instances of proxy betting.

Patron’s claims and casino’s response:

The patron eventually visited the casino on June 18, but when approached by security, he claimed he planned to come in on June 17 to pay for the bets. However, he alleged that a break-in at his house prevented him from doing so as a bag of money was stolen.

Tom Diehl, VP of Legal for Live! Casino admitted that the employees had used personal phones to bypass anti-proxy wagering procedures. The casino responded by suspending and terminating these employees, conducting an internal review, and self-reporting the violations to the PGCB.

In response to the violations, Live! Casino has enacted several measures to prevent future occurrences. These include:

– Lowering the surveillance notification threshold for wagers to $10,000 to enhance scrutiny.

– Banning personal cell phones in the sportsbook area and providing company phones with restricted usage.

– Installing clear signage to underscore the prohibition of proxy wagering.

– Intensifying staff training programs.

According to the source, Rich Cooper, counsel and VP of regulatory for FanDuel, Live! Casino’s sportsbook partner added that FanDuel has also increased the frequency and depth of training concerning proxy betting and suspicious activities.

As Penn Live reports, the PGCB denied requests to remove two individuals from the Involuntary Exclusion List during the same meeting. These individuals had been placed on the list for leaving minors unattended in vehicles while they gambled in 2019 and 2022. The Board continues its “Don’t Gamble with Kids” campaign, highlighting the risks and illegality of leaving children unattended in casino areas.