Pennsylvania gambling regulator fines Live! Casino $100,000 for proxy betting violations

Pennsylvania gambling regulator fines Live! Casino $100,000 for proxy betting violations
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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has imposed a $100,000 fine on Stadium Casino RE, LLC, the operator of Live! Casino and Hotel Philadelphia, for accepting nearly $300,000 inillegal proxy wagers by phone.

During a public meeting on Wednesday, the board approved a consent agreement presented by the Office of Enforcement Counsel (OEC) after it was found that several sportsbook employees at Live! Casino had placed 15 wagers totaling $287,421 over an eight-day period for a patron not physically present at the casino.

These proxy wagers violate both the casino's policies and the Pennsylvania Gaming Act, which specifically prohibits accepting wagers from anyone other than the person placing the bet. The three sportsbook employees involved were terminated, and their gaming licenses were revoked. The patron who placed the bets has been added to the Involuntary Exclusion List, effectively banning him from gambling in Pennsylvania.

Deputy Enforcement Counsel Dustin Miller explained that the Bureau of Casino Compliance was alerted to the violations two years ago when a sportsbook employee reported that the patron had requested three wagers totaling $95,000 via text message.

The patron promised to visit the casino to pay for the wagers but never appeared, and subsequent attempts to contact him were unsuccessful. An investigation revealed 12 additional instances where employees had placed wagers for the patron when he was not at the casino.

The patron eventually came to the casino on June 18, reports SBC Americas. When he was accosted by security, he claimed that he had been planning on coming in on June 17 to pay but found his house had been broken into and a bag of money had been stolen, which prevented him from doing so.

Tom Diehl, VP of Legal for Live! Casino, acknowledged that employees had used personal phones to bypass anti-proxy wagering procedures. Upon discovering the violations, the casino suspended and terminated the involved employees, conducted an internal investigation, and self-reported the incidents to the PGCB.

In response to the violations, the casino has implemented several corrective measures. These include lowering the surveillance notification threshold for wagers to $10,000 to increase scrutiny, banning personal cell phones in the sportsbook area, and issuing company phones with restricted usage. 

Clear signage has been installed to emphasize the prohibition of proxy wagering, and training for staff has been intensified. Rich Cooper, counsel and VP of regulatory for FanDuel, Live! Casino’s sportsbook partner, stated that FanDuel has increased the frequency and depth of training on proxy betting and suspicious activity.

During the same meeting, the PGCB also denied requests to remove two individuals from the Involuntary Exclusion List. These individuals had been placed on the list for leaving minors unattended in vehicles while they gambled in 2019 and 2022. The Board’s ongoing awareness campaign, “Don’t Gamble with Kids,” continues to highlight the dangers and illegality of leaving children unattended in casino areas.