December 14, 2017

Mohegans' Pa. casino fined $1M for business irregularities

Mohegan Sun Pocono, a Wilkes-Barre, Pa. casino owned by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, has been fined $1 million for free slot play and vendor relationship irregularities, Pennsylvania authorities say.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) on Wednesday approved fines of $550,000 for failing to follow internal controls in the free slot play program, the main bank and internal audits, and $450,000 for conducting business with unlicensed gaming service providers.

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment owns and operates the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville.

Through various investigations, three different sets of irregularities were found that led to the $550,000 fine.

A fraud scheme by two employees and a patron occurred between May 2014 and April 2015 and resulted in the issuance of at least $478,350 in free play, which was then converted to a cash payout of $422,147, the PGCB said.

The main bank violations include a casino employee inflating the amount owed to a patron by filling in larger amounts on forms than what was actually owed to the customer and then pocketing the difference. The casino's failure to safeguard its assets at least 314 times between May 2014 and Sept. 2015 resulted in the theft of $26,151, authorities said.

Internal audit problems included casino personnel's failure to submit six audits required as a condition of the casino's license between 2012 and 2016, the PGCB said.

The second fine of $450,000 stemmed from Mohegan Sun Pocono's vendor relationship with two firms, ReferLocal, LLC and CB POC LLC, neither of which had licensed its company or employees with the gaming control board as required by law, the PGCB said.

A $60,000 fine approved in November by the board against former Mohegan Sun CEO Robert Soper was associated with the business relationship between Soper and ReferLocal, an e-commerce marketing company. CB POC LLC operates three food establishments within Mohegan Sun Pocono: Johnny Rockets, Betty & Joe's Coffee Shop, and Wok8.

In a statement, Mohegan Sun Pocono said it fully supports the findings and remediation.

"MSP, with support of its parent, ... , took immediate action to correct the issues both found by the PGCB and self-reported," an MSP spokesman said. "We take great pride in their acknowledgement of our corrective measures and complete cooperation. As an organization, we are glad to have this resolved and are focused on the future."

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