Three further casino operators have been given the green light by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to commence interactive gaming operations.

Awarded the interactive gaming certificates following the appropriate approvals from the board for interactive gaming, each licensee has a 60 day day period from which to pay the $10m fee due following this go-ahead.

Gaming approvals granted were to Chester Downs and Marina LLC, operator Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia, Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc, operator of the Parx Casino and Mount Airy #1 LLC, operator of the Mount Airy Resort Casino, who recently announced an online gaming package with The Stars Group.

All three of the approved certificate holders can conduct:

  • Non-peer-to-peer interactive games which simulate slot machines.
  • Non-peer-to-peer interactive games which simulate table games.
  • Peer-to-peer interactive games which simulate poker.

Furthermore, the PGCB has also approved the operator change of the Presque Isle Downs Casino in Erie County, following a deal between Churchill Downs and Eldorado Resorts.

As a result of this transfer of the category one slot machine licence, Churchill Downs, as the new holder, is to pay a change of control fee of $3.75m.

Following its approval decision, the PGCB has also issued fines totaling $160,000 to two casinos within its jurisdiction, for a variety of violations.

Firstly is an $80,000 penalty issued to Washington Trotting Association Inc, operator of the Meadows Casino in Washington County, for allowing unauthorised employees to issue complementary services.

Detailing its ruling, the PGCB stated “each licensed facility is required to have within their board-approved internal controls, a matrix of employees who are authorised to award complimentary services, and a specific amount that may be authorised”.

In addition are two fines amounting to $80,000 issued to Valley Forge Convention Center Partners LP, operator of the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Montgomery County.

It’s first penalty, amounting to $50,000, pertains to a failure to maintain accurate and reliable financial records, ensure access, record and compare its assets, conduct regular audits and ensure that audit functions and responsibilities were segregated.

It was also noted that “these issues materialised through a scheme perpetrated by a casino employee, to fraudulently collect work-related reimbursements, an action that led to criminal charges being filed against that employee”.

It’s second fine of $30,000, was the result of the casino not being compliant with its board approved rules and guidelines for the play of Spanish 21 blackjack.