Large and Small Fines that Some Casinos had to Pay
The casino industry deals with millions of dollars on a daily business. Sometimes the money comes in the form of profit. Other times, it comes as a loss. Not only do casinos lose money to gamblers who emerge victorious at slot machines and table games, they also lose a significant amount of money via hefty fines. These fines do not occur regularly, but they do seem to occur often. Here's a look at some of the monstrous, and not so monstrous, fines casinos have had to pay within the last several years:
Singapore Casinos Pay Thousands for Customer Violations
The Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) of Singapore serves as a strict watchdog for the gambling facilities in that nation. Recently, it handed down a $337,000 fine to Marina Bay Sands, a Las Vegas Sands property, for allowing five gamblers to overstay their 24-hour time limit and twelve gamblers to enter the gambling floor without a valid levy.
A $190,000 fine was issued in the same country to Resorts World Sentosa, a Genting Singapore property, for permitting entry to five minors, five "excluded" patrons, and twelve patrons without levies. The CRA also found Resorts World Sentosa guilty of allowing one patron to overstay his 24-hour time limit and fined the business accordingly.
This was not the first time the CRA assessed penalties to the two popular Singapore resorts. Earlier this year, Marina Bay Sands was socked with over $600,000 in fines for other violations. Resorts World Sentosa paid $200,000 earlier this year and over $700,000 last August for their violations.
Las Vegas Sands Coughs Up Millions for Unreported Money Laundering
The hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by Sands' Singapore locations pales in comparison to the $43 million the corporation forked over last August to the U.S. government. The charge against Sands: Failing to report a string of $45 million money laundering incidents committed by Chinese-Mexican Zhenli Ye Gon at the Venetian. The U.S. Justice Department spent over two years collecting evidence that the casino covered up Ye Gon's suspicious deposits between 2006 and 2007. U.S. attorney Andre Birotte remarked that this was the "first time" a casino was implicated in the federal crime of money laundering.
Drug dealers and other criminal groups frequently use casinos as a way of "cleaning" their dirty money. Large sums of illicitly obtained cash are exchanged at casinos for table game chips or other forms of credit. The credit is used for a short period by the gamer, then converted back to "clean" cash. In this way, drug lords and others are able to walk out of a casino having erased the tracks that could implicate them in a criminal case.
Las Vegas Palms Pays for Employees' Dirty Deeds
Nightclub employees at the Palms Casino Resort were caught dealing drugs and promoting prostitution during a sting operation earlier this year. Resort officials agreed to pay $1 million in fines for the crimes as well as a $78,000 investigation penalty. In addition, the resort has agreed to mandate drug testing for employees and set up a whistle-blower system in which employee crimes may safely be reported.
The investigation came about because of the resort's notorious reputation for drugs and other problems. Three years ago, a similar sting operation was carried out at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Pennsylvania Casinos Pay Penalty for Underaged Gambling and Drinking
The Bethlehem Sands Casino in Pennsylvania was fined $68,000 by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for six incidents in which under-aged gambling and/or drinking was permitted on the premises. Similar violations prompted a $48,000 charge in 2010 and a $48,000 charge in 2012 against the facility.
Taverns that serve minors in Pennsylvania can theoretically lose their licenses, but such a drastic move has not taken place at the Bethlehem Sands.
Ohio Casinos Charged for Operation-Related Infractions
New casinos in Cleveland and Toledo recently faced operation-related fines, albeit on a much smaller scale than the big-time gambling corporations mentioned above.
The commercial casino industry in Ohio is still young; within the past two years, four new commercial casinos have set up shop within the state. Cleveland's Horseshoe was audited by the Ohio Casino Control Commission and found to be in violation on two different occasions thus far. Most recently, auditors assessed a $180,000 fine for the breach of several state laws regarding casino operation.
Offenses at the Horseshoe ranged from the improper physical handling of slot machines to the use of unapproved dice. The casino also failed to post the required problem-gambling hotline number where patrons could see it.
Earlier in the year, a $15,000 fine was assessed to the same facility for its use of unauthorized computer software programs. The software, which helps patrons apply promotional credits toward free slot play, was later approved for use by the government.
In Toledo, the recently opened Hollywood Casino agreed to pay $30,000 in operation violations that included customer use of an unapproved slot machine and the operation of a blackjack table without proper surveillance.
The owner of the Stagestop Casino in Pahrump, Nevada currently faces a fine of $5,500 for failing to register seven of his nine bartenders with the state. Shawn Paul Holmes agreed to the fine, admitting that he has not been keeping good track of his employees' registrations for several years.
A banned gambler was let into the Grand Falls Casino in Iowa recently in spite of the fact that his name was on a banned-gambler list. The gambler obtained a players' card and began playing, but was removed soon thereafter when casino workers discovered their mistake. Administrators reported the error, accepted the fine, and agreed to conduct employee training that would prevent such an occurrence in the future.