Sports Outside the Beltway

Gulfstream Park fined $800,000 by the State of Florida

If your employees cheat and snort cocaine at your establishment, you can expect to take a double whammy for it in the Sunshine State. From the Miami Herald-

The state has fined Gulfstream Park $800,000 for security failures that allowed employees to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from slot machines by using free-play cards.

In an order filed Friday, the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation said the Hallandale Beach casino was lax in overseeing the use of the cards allowing employees to load the cards with much more money than authorized.

According to the department’s complaint: “The unauthorized issuance and use of test cards with excessive amounts of money loaded onto them was largely, if not completely, unchecked — there were no facility procedures or regulations governing the issuance or check out of test cards, nor receipts issued when test cards were turned in.”

The department fined Gulfstream $800,000 — $100,000 for each count.

The owner of Gulfstream Park is in bankruptcy. So the fine may not even be paid. The track also already owes $144,000 in back taxes. If they can’t pay those taxes, why should the State of Florida be hopeful will Magna Entertainment will pay the new fines?

The penalty follows a two-year inquiry by the state — and a criminal investigation that resulted in the conviction of one employee for cheating and organized fraud. Other employees were fired or suspended but not charged.

In September 2007, employees at Gulfstream caught a patron playing slots — for free — by using a card that was only meant to test the machines.

Investigators found that a slots technician had given the man the test cards and shared the money he won.

A subsequent investigation found that many cards that were normally worth about $5 of play had instead been loaded with hundreds of dollars.

According to the complaint, the test cards were not tracked — no unique serial numbers, sign-out requirements or system for logging them.

One employee is convicted, others are allowed to return to their jobs but the track is fined. The rules are certainly different in Florida.

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