In Pennsylvania, in spite of heightened efforts to curb underage gambling at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, individuals under 21 continue to continue to make their way to the casino floor.
The Las Vegas Sands Corporation-owned and operated casino has reportedly built barriers, installed a state-of-the-art ID-reading system and increased security but those safeguards have apparently not been completely effective in stopping the problem of underage gambling at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
The casino has been fined a total of $615,000 in a dozen consent decrees since it opened in 2009. The majority of the cases have reportedly involved not catching underage patrons prior to them gambling or drinking alcohol.
The property was recently hit with another $150,000 in fines for 11 incidents in which individuals under the legal gambling age of 21 were caught gambling or drinking at the Pennsylvania casino, according to the daily newspaper, The Morning Call.
The newspaper reports that incidents involving individuals aged 16 to 20 took place between September 25 and March 1, according to Michael Roland, an attorney with the state gaming board’s office of enforcement. In one instance, two teenagers reportedly sneaked into the casino by way of an employee exit located in the executive offices. In another case, a 17-year-old girl reportedly made her way onto the casino floor with her father, according to a consent decree between the Sands and the board.
Sands officials say they’ve invested a lot of resources into the problem, but that they know it’s one they’ll probably never solve completely, according to the report.
In Harrisburg on Wednesday, Michael Magazzu, Sands Vice President and General Counsel, reportedly told the gaming board that the advanced ID-scanning system installed by the casino helped to alleviate the problem to some extent, but even that is limited in its ability. He told the board they take the issue very seriously and that they “had a couple where underage folks were aided by a family member.” And that, “Even with the best technology, it’s very difficult to prevent those types of entries.”
The newspaper reports that casino President Mark Juliano said about 300 of the approximately 25,000 people who enter the gambling facility daily are turned away because they are underage.
Magazzu reportedly said that since the March arrival of the ID-reading machine, the number of incidents has dropped, but that since then, there have been at least three incidents. He said, “I’d love to tell you we have a perfect record since March 13, but that is not the case.”