Pilot Travel Centers has been fined $45,000 by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for permitting underage gambling at one of its video gaming terminals (VGTs). The incident took place in Smithton, Pennsylvania, where the operator neglected to have a board-credentialed employee on-site.

Pilot Travel Centers has been subjected to the largest penalty ever imposed on a VGT vendor following negotiations between the Office of Enforcement Counsel (OEC) of the PGCB.

The VGT operator faced penalties for permitting gambling by individuals below the legal age.

In response to a March incident involving a minor under six years old in the gaming area of Pilot Travel Centers, an agreement of consent was established between the OEC and the company. During the incident, the child either played a VGT or tampered with its controls.

According to Pennsylvania regulations, it is mandatory for all licensed VGT establishments to have a certified attendant present at all times. Following an investigation, it was discovered that Pilot Travel Center operated without a certified attendant for a total of 138 hours in March 2023. Additionally, during this period, a minor was observed placing wagers on at least two occasions, sometimes for an hour.

The company’s license, which allowed them to operate over thirty VGTs in nine Pennsylvania locations, did not face any additional regulatory action.

Encouraging Responsible Gambling at VGT Locations in Pennsylvania

The gaming area will now be secured by the staff in the absence of board-certified personnel, and the location has been updated to include responsible gambling messaging specific to Pennsylvania.

Regrettably, the problem of underage gambling continues to occur at VGT locations and Pennsylvania casinos, prompting the PGCB to initiate a campaign in the previous year to tackle these occurrences.

As per regulations, Video Gaming Terminal (VGT) locations are allowed to have a maximum of five gaming terminals. These terminals are regularly maintained and inspected by state regulators and representatives from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Currently, there are 69 VGT locations spread across Pennsylvania, operated by up to 17 different operators, as of August 2023.

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