Monday, August 04, 2008

Canadian Casino Fined For Employing Possible Cheating Dealer

Provincial regulator fines Halifax casino for unauthorized dealer

Nova Scotia's Utility and Review Board has fined the operator of the casino in Halifax a total of $75,000 for four violations of provincial gaming regulations, one of which concerns the hiring of a dealer who may have been involved in cheating players and the casino where she previously worked.

The largest fine, $25,000, was in connection with the employment of a part-time dealer who had been turned down by the province for registration in 2005, presumably because of cheating allegations.

In Nova Scotia, provincial regulations state that all "gaming assistants" must be licensed by the regulatory authtories and can be turned down if it is believed the applicant may not follow the law or was withholding crucial information.

In a written decision dated July 31, the board is critical of Metropolitan Entertainment Group and its parent company, Great Canadian Gaming Corp. for giving the dealer a job when it was plain that she was not approved by the province.

The board says the woman worked as a card dealer between June 2005 and January 2007.

"It is difficult to understand how an individual who was refused registration as a gaming assistant could be employed at the Halifax Casino for any period of time, let alone the time frame noted above," the written decision says.

The board notes that the registration process is to protect gamblers from the possibility of cheating by casino employees.

Audit in question
The decision says the board is also concerned about an audit done by casino workers at the Halifax facility in October 2006 that did not meet provincial requirements.

Other violations that led to fines involved using an unregistered gaming supplier to replace a slot-machine bank sign and allowing an unauthorized employee trainer to conduct a training session in February 2007.

The fines were originally recommended to the Utility and Review Board by the casino operator, and the Alcohol and Gaming Division of the province's Labour Department.

The board increased the amount of two fines, citing the gravity of the offences.

Nova Scotia has two casinos, in Halifax and Sydney, both operated by Great Canadian Gaming Corp through its local subsidiary.

Great Canadian Gaming also operates casinos in British Columbia and the United States.