The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

November 4, 2013

Pennsylvania casinos urged to crack down on young gamblers

PITTSBURGH — Children as young as 14 are sneaking into casinos to try their luck at a roulette wheel or slot machine — a costly problem for Pennsylvania gaming operators who are lobbying for tougher penalties for underage gamblers. 
Robert DeSalvio, president of the Sands Casino-Resort in Bethlehem, said the punishment for anyone younger than 21 who attempts to gamble in a casino should act as a deterrent. 
Underage gamblers receive a citation and fine of as much as $1,000, but DeSalvio wants to take away their driver’s licenses for a year. 
“We feel so strongly about it,” said Sands spokeswoman Julia Corwin. “We want to do everything in our power to end underage gambling in the casinos.” 
Doug Harbach, spokesman for the state Gaming Control Board, said underage gambling is a “pretty big issue” at the state’s 12 casinos. Since 2008, the board has fined casinos more than $1.6 million for 127 incidents of underage gambling, records show. The incidents included children as young as 14 caught playing slot machines. 
At board meetings, members routinely vote to add underage wagerers to the agency’s “involuntary exclusion list” of people who are banned from the casinos. 
Casinos use cutting-edge facial recognition software and surveillance equipment so sophisticated it can peer into a woman’s purse. They check IDs, but offenders still slip through. 
Pittsburgh attorney Stuart Kaplan, who has worked on various gaming-related matters, said tighter security at the front door — including scanning IDs to get background information — would be the best deterrent. 
“The typical kid just wants to get in . they don’t believe they’re going to get caught,” he said. 
A COSTLY PROBLEM 
When casinos catch underage gamblers, the law requires the business to report the incident to the gaming board. 
Sometimes, young gamblers aren’t caught until they’ve wagered. 
That was the case when a 20-year-old from New York won an undisclosed jackpot on a Sands slot machine in August. He was forced to forfeit his winnings when officials checking his ID for tax purposes realized his photo did not match his appearance. 

Text Only
News
  • $23 million sweep under way

    After years of finger-pointing and blame, Northumberland County officials have launched an initiative to try to collect $22.8 million in unpaid fines and restitution from what might be 14,000 cases.

    July 24, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mazzeo a finalist for Middletown post

    Former Sunbury police chief Steve Mazzeo is one of three finalists for the same position in a borough about 65 miles away.

    July 24, 2014

  • rundown25zope.jpg Blighted block going bye-bye in Atlas

    Nearly an entire township block in Atlas will be torn down in Mount Carmel Township, utilizing funds from Northumberland County and its Housing Authority in an effort to fight blight. Half of this block is proposed to be developed as low-income senior living units.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1WEATHER.jpg Deadly storm strikes Virginia campground

    A fierce storm packing powerful winds and rain toppled trees and flipped campers Thursday at a Virginia campground this morning, killing at least two people and sending at least 20 more to hospitals, officials said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Official: Air Algerie flight ’probably crashed’

    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria’s capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali and “probably crashed,” according to the plane’s owner and government officials in France and Burkina Faso.

    July 24, 2014

  • 1gaza25.jpg Israeli fire hits UN facility in Gaza, killing 15

    Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1execution.jpg How Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma, executions went awry

    Since the start of the year, executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona have gone awry, with inmates gasping for breath as lethal drugs coursed through their bodies.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: One more job appears at risk

    July 24, 2014

  • Rabbi Conflict in Israel grounds Sunbury rabbi

    TEL AVIV, Israel — While the Israelis and Hamas traded rocket and missile strikes for a 16th day, Rabbi Nina Mandel is struggling to find her way back to Sunbury after the FAA on Wednesday announced that it would extend its ban on travel at Ben-Gurion International Airport for another 24 hours.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.