Mohegan Sun Pocono fined $1 million over failing to monitor free slot play
Lately Mohegan Sun Pocono in Luzerne County was fined $1 million by the state.The casino near Wilkes-Barre now to pay $550,000 for failing to follow internal controls to monitor free slot play and the main bank. That is the result of the investigation into three former workers who admitted being part of a half-million dollar scheme to duplicate player cards and cash out money for free slot play.
Mohegan Sun Pocono is also being fine $450,000 for doing business with unlicensed gaming service providers including ReferLocal, which offered vouchers for dining and casino play at discounted prices.
This is the largest penalty ever doled out by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) since the regulator’s 2004 inception.
According to news sources a $550,000 penalty was imposed for the casino’s “failure to follow internal controls,” which PGCB maintained facilitated the orchestration of a $420,000 scam, masterminded by one of its own executives. The remaining $450,000 was laid for the casino’s engagement of the services of companies that did not possess required licensing from the state
It is to be noted that the Mohegan Sun Pocono’s youthful former CEO Bobby Soper, has resigned in February in the midst of the PGCB investigation over financial irregularities at the casino, as Soper failed to declare personal interests in two business engaged by the casino, one of which had no gaming license.
Bogus Loyalty Rewards Scam
Also in June, Robert Pellegrini, the casino’s former VP of Player Development, was sentenced to 32 months imprisonment for a fraudulent slots scheme that used stolen customer loyalty card PIN numbers to allow an accomplice to play slots at the casino for free. The regulator concluded the casino had failed to adequately track its loyalty scheme slots play.
According to court documents, between May 2014 and April 2015, Rochelle Poszeluznyj, a cocktail waitress, would note down customers’ numbers as she served them drinks. She would then pass these numbers on to Pellegrini, who would create fake cards and load them with complementary spins.
A third accomplice, Mark Joseph Heltzel, would use the bogus loyalty rewards to play casino’s slots, splitting the winnings between the three members of the group. All three are currently serving prison sentences.
The remainder of the fine related largely to the casino’s relationships with two unlicensed firms: ReferLocal, an e-commerce marketing company, and CB POC, which operates the eating establishments Johnny Rockets, Betty & Joe’s Coffee Shop, and Wok8 at the Mohegan Sun.
Despite presiding over a strong growth period, the casino’s CEO Robert Soper resigned in February, before the PGBC’s investigation into this matter had concluded. In November, he was fined $60,000 for his failure to disclose that he had personal business interests in ReferLocal and another company whose services had been engaged by the casino.
Meanwhile, the main bank violation was related to an incident in which an employee had misreported the amount a customer had won, inflating the sum and pocketing the difference.
According to PGCB the Mohegan Sun had failed to safeguard its assets at least 314 times between May 2014 and September 2015. In a statement, casino officials say they’ve agreed to pay the fines and will take immediate action to correct the issues both found by the PGCB and self-reported.
About Mohegan Sun Pocono
Mohegan Sun Pocono is located on 400 acres in the hillside of Plains, Pennsylvania. It is within easy access of New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware and just a short distance from other great northeastern Pennsylvania attractions such as Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club in Mountain Top and Claws ‘N’ Paws Wild Animal Park in Hamlin.
Acquired in 2005 it is owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, it is one of the largest and most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming, shopping and dining destinations in Pennsylvania.
It is currently home to 82,000 square feet of gaming space including more than 90 table games, 2,300 slot machines and electronic table games, a variety of dining and shopping options, nightlife, entertainment and live harness racing.