The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved fines for three casinos for gambling violations at their meeting Thursday in Council Bluffs. The largest fine of $20,000 was levied against the Isle of Capri in Waterloo for allowing an underage gambler into the facility.
Racing and Gaming Commission administrator Brian Ohorilko says the minor came to the casino on a party bus. “This underage patron was not challenged upon entry, was allowed to gamble and was on the floor for more than 35 minutes. So, those three factors would qualify for a commission referral,” Ohorilko says.
Ohorilko says this is the casino’s second such offense in the last year. “The past practice for underage gambling violations for first and second offense…calls for a $20,000 fine. If there would happen to be a third within 365 days, that’s when the fines begin to escalate,” Ohorilko says. The Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood in northwest Iowa was fined for allowing a self-banned gambler into the casino.
“And individual that was on the statewide lifetime self-exclusion list had entered Grand Falls and received a players club card from the property, and was also awarded some free play,” Ohorilko says. He says the fine was $5,000.
“The commission took into consideration that this was self reported,” Ohorilko says. “The very next day the individual attempted to reenter the casino, was caught and asked to leave. It was Grand Falls first offense of this type of incident within the past 365 days.”
The Riverside Casino was also fined for a violation involving a banned gambler. “From 2014 through just a few months ago, that individual had received promotional mailings,” Ohorilko explains. “The receipt of those mailings would trigger the referral to the commission.” Ohorilko says the person had been on the banned list since 2004, and then got a players card in 2014. He says the casino discovered the banned gambler was receiving the material through its internal audit process.
Ohorilko says once they realized that the person should not have been on the mailing list, they reported it to the commission. It was the second offense for Riverside in the last year. The casino agreed to a $5,000 fine.