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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino, SportsHub face penalties by PGCB

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino, SportsHub face penalties by PGCB

Publish Date: 07/01/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) fined a casino and a fantasy sports contest licensee a total of $48,000. Seven individuals were also added to the board’s exclusion list for incidents involving unattended children at casinos.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack, operated by Chester Downs and Marina, has been fined $35,000 for allowing individuals under 21 to access the gaming floor and gamble. Meanwhile, licensed fantasy contest operator SportsHub received a $13,000 fine for changing control of its license without board approval.

In response to concerning incidents of children being left unattended at various Pennsylvania casinos, the PGCB has added seven adults to the exclusion list, prohibiting their entry into any Pennsylvania casino.

On March 19, 2021, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino faced a security breach when four underage individuals, namely TR, XB, PR and OR managed to access the gaming floor despite previous denials of entry.

Upon discovering the presence of minors on the gaming floor, casino security immediately informed the state police, except in the case of PR.

Security personnel also confiscated $140 worth of gaming chips from XB. Subsequently, criminal charges were filed against XB, TR, and OR, and they were permanently evicted from the premises.

Similar incidents

Other than Harrah’s, similar incidents occurred at Mohegan Sun Pennsylvania, Valley Forge Casino Resort, Rivers Casino Philadelphia and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh.

Harrah’s Philadelphia vice president of casino operations Matthew Conner addressed the PGCB, saying, “On behalf of Harrah’s Philadelphia, we agree with the facts and we agree with the terms of conditions of the consent agreement. Harrah’s wants to emphasize it has a very strong culture of compliance and takes this issue very seriously.”

Meanwhile, SportsHub CEO Rob Phythian cited a misunderstanding with his legal team, which according to his claim, did not understand PA law. To handle the matters, Phythian then hired PA-based Michael Trainor of Blank Rome LLP.

According to the PGCB, there have been 370 instances since the beginning of 2022 in which adults left children unattended at Pennsylvania casinos, involving 596 minors. Leaving minors alone in a casino creates a potentially unsafe and dangerous environment for them.

The board emphasized that adults who engage in this behavior may face criminal prosecution in addition to being excluded from all state casinos, per its press release.

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