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The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) just fined Caesars Entertainment $50,000 for repeatedly violating gaming regulations.
The Gaming Division handles all nine casinos in Atlantic City and is in charge of sports betting and casino regulation in the state.
A letter from the DGE revealed that the penalty was a result of the operator’s reluctance to register and license 49 employees of the company who had worked there “for a number of years.”
The letter was issued on July 7, 2022, and the Director of the division, David Rebuck, claimed that the specified staff in the information technology, purchasing, marketing, credit, and Human Resources departments were all employed without paying heed to “the requisite casino employee registrations.”
Caesars self-reported rule breach
Rebuck’s letter revealed that although DGE investigated Caesars Entertainment due to a complaint, the gaming operator initially self-reported the breach as far back as May 3, 2021, that it had employed seven IT members.
These included a Senior System Analyst, one Senior Programmer Analyst, one IT Manager, one Lead Program Analyst, and two Lead System Analysts, all of whom did not hold active casino employee registration.
Caesars informed the agency that it would conduct a probe into its other departments to ensure there were no other inactive registrations. However, in the next few months, the state was informed that the casino operator found more employees unregistered with the DGE. Towards the end of 2021, approximately 49 employees were discovered to either have inactive casino employee registration or no registration at all.
The letter explained, “Caesars provided the Division with multiple reports which revealed further issues regarding the lack of necessary casino employee registrations. As of November 2021, Caesars appeared to have approximately 49 employees who were not properly credentialed due to either holding no casino employee registrations or holding inactive casino employee registrations.”
The DGE reportedly gave Caesars a deadline of January 10, 2022, for the individuals to be correctly registered. Despite the grace period, factors like resignations or terminations and prior leaves of absence due to the pandemic, 37 employees were still left unregistered. The deadline was extended several times, and by February 4, 2022, all 37 operational staff were properly registered.
The NJ Gaming division originally did not intend to penalize the casino because the regulatory infractions were self-reported and eventually resolved. However, they decided to issue the fine after Caesars mentioned the additional failures in employee registration.
The letter also mentioned an earlier time in February 2021 when the casino operator made a similar report but eventually resolved it. They discovered around 60 unregistered alcoholic beverage employees; however, they were all adequately registered by the next month.
Casino employee registration is mandatory
The Casino Control Act of New Jersey mandated that certain staff in casinos be registered with the Gaming division. The rule has been in place since New Jersey made gambling legal.
The DGE would proceed to probe the provided individuals by checking their backgrounds and other information to ensure that bad actors were not admitted into the state gaming industry.
Further on in the letter, the DGE revealed that Caesars’ reluctance to properly register its employees led to the gaming operator’s breaching the regulation that demanded that such workers have a valid registration in the division’s file.
The gaming operator was also accused of violating the rule that mandated the company to turn in an accurate employee report, including their job title, license or registration number, and other important information. The report was to be turned in using electronic data transfer every month.
To this effect, the DGE director revealed that Caesar had consented to pay the $50,000 fine. He wrote, “Caesars has agreed to pay such amount in recognition of the seriousness of its failures related to non-compliance.”
The rest of the letter explains that if more staff in Caesar were found to hold inactive or no registrations, the company would be once again fined.
Caesars controls three casinos in Atlantic City, namely the Caesars Atlantic City Resort and Casino, the Tropicana Atlantic City, and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.