The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) dished out close to half a million dollars in fines last week.
In fact, the Board levied a total of $481,116 in fines to one casino and a variety of gaming services firms at its latest public meeting in Harrisburg on June 27.
The largest fine went to a Nevada-based gaming manufacturer and distributor. Apparently, the firm was doing business with Pennsylvania casinos without proper authorization from the Board, or its knowledge.
American Gaming Systems (AGS) was hit with a $351,271.40 fine. The Board says AGS failed to disclose its intellectual property purchase agreement with a New Jersey casino games company called In Bet Gaming. AGS also did business with PA casinos through In Bet Gaming. Plus, it received proceeds from that business, without gaining authorization or a license from the Board.
In Bet Gaming is authorized by PGCB to conduct gaming related business with PA casinos. A $55,744.60 fine was also levied against it.
PGCB says Pennsylvania licensing requirements were circumvented when games in which AGS holds the intellectual property right were operated in PA casinos.
Super 4 Blackjack Progressive
AGS manufactures and distributes a variety of casino games and slots, including a number of Asian-themed slot machines. Plus, the company produces various versions of traditional table games like Baccarat and Blackjack.
It also runs a number of social casino mobile apps on its own and for various casino partners. For the most part, it’s clients are in the Native American gaming market.
In Bet Gaming is a casino game developer. The company has developed a variety of Blackjack and Baccarat side wager and progressive wager games. The games are in various casinos across the US. In Bet Gaming’s website claims its Super 4 Blackjack Progressive game is available in Pennsylvania. In fact, it lists Valley Forge Casino Resort and Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack as locations where the game can be found.
However, AGS bought five games from In Bet Gaming in October 2017, including Super 4 Blackjack Progressive.
As part of the purchase agreement, AGS received the five games and approximately 500 installations of those games. In addition to Super 4 Blackjack Progressive, the other games include:
- Blackjack Match Progressive
- Jackpot Blackjack
- Royal 9
- Jackpot Baccarat
AGS also purchased In Bet Gaming’s In Between and Criss Cross Poker games in 2014.
Super 4 Blackjack side bets win when the dealer shows an ace. Players trigger the Super 4 Bonus if the dealer makes Blackjack. This allows them to combine their cards with the dealer’s cards to make a four-card poker hand. Various four-card poker hands offer the opportunity to win progressive jackpots.
Excess free slot play
Additionally, a $50,000 fine was levied against operators of Valley Forge Casino Resort. The board says Valley Forge was guilty of giving out what it calls excess amounts of free slot play.
According to PGCB regulations, PA casinos must impose limits on the amount of free slot play an organization can give away. Plus, they must impose limits on the number of employees who can give it away.
An investigation by the PGCB’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement revealed that in 2015 and 2016, various amounts of free slot play was awarded to Valley Forge players by employees who were not authorized to do so. Plus, authorized employees gave away more than approved levels.
Finally, a Nevada-based slot machine provider, licensed to do business with PA casinos, filed financial statements late.
A $24,100 fine was levied against Ditronics Financial Services as a result.
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