Meadows Racetrack & Casino fined for permitting promotional mailings
By Paul Peirce
Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The Meadows Racetrack & Casino said a marketing glitch was the reason that 16 people on the state's self-exclusion gambling list received literature for a “Second Chance Drawing” promotion at the Washington County casino last November.
On Friday, the state gaming control board fined Washington Trotting Association Inc., the operator of the racetrack and casino, $7,500 for permitting the promotional mailings in November to 16 people on the statewide, self-excluded list.
The fine included a separate incident in May involving an email sent by an unidentified casino employee to another person on the same excluded list, offering the person two complimentary tickets to a June concert at the casino.
That incident followed a warning issued to The Meadows when the same casino host sent the individual an email invitation to a Super Bowl party promotion that would include a chance to win free slot play.
The person in that second case reported the incidents to state gaming regulators, according to gaming control board records.
Under a consent agreement, the casino reprimanded the unidentified host for failing to review the self-exclusion list and informed the host that another incident would result in termination of employment.
“What happened with the (first) incident was the date of the actual mailing was delayed, so therefore at the time it was mailed out, the list used did not align with the state's most updated, self-excluded list. We originally did match it, but then the mailing was delayed,” said Tom Meinert, spokesman for The Meadows.
Other casinos across the state have been fined for similar incidents. In May, the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh was fined $10,000 by the gaming control board for mailing that casino's promotional materials to 93 people on the self-exclusion list.
Under state law, the state gaming control board permits problem gamblers to ban themselves from gambling at Pennsylvania casinos for one year, five years or a lifetime.
People on the list are informed at the time they agree to be placed on the list that they could be charged with criminal trespass if they enter a Pennsylvania casino. In addition, the casino agrees to follow procedures to remove self-excluded people from targeted mailings along with other forms of advertising or promotions.
To date, more than 5,500 people have requested to be excluded from Pennsylvania casinos, according to the gaming control board.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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