Pennsylvania Hollywood Casino Fined for Unauthorized Tournaments in 2019

In every state within the US where casino gaming is allowed, operators must adhere to certain guidelines and regulations. Each state has a governing body that is in charge of creating the rules and ensuring that license holders stick to them. In Pennsylvania, one gaming operator recently got in trouble for offering poker tournaments in 2019 that were not authorized by the state’s Gaming Control Board.

$20,000 Fine Imposed

The Gaming Control Board issued a $20,000 fine on Hollywood Casino due to four tournaments that took place last year. Alex Hvizda, the Director of Compliance for the casino reported the violations and according to a news report by The Patriot-News, the Labor Day Classic poker tournament was the issue.

According to Hvizda, the poker tournament was not presented to the board for review as it should have been due to staff turnover within the poker department of the casino. The Labor Day Classic involved tournaments that had a buy-in of $120 instead of a previous set entry fee of $80. The tournaments were offered 95x at the different price, taking place from February 5th to September 12th.

Since the incidents took place, the board gave the casino’s operator the ability to run the tournaments at the $120 fee based on the updated application filled out by the venue. State law dictates that all tournament schedules must be approved by the executive director of the commission. Along with tournament schedules, dealer training, table layouts, signs, equipment, and gaming guide schematics must be approved.

The fact that the Hollywood Casino self-reported the incident is most likely why the fine was only $20,000. Casinos maintain their integrity and reputation as a properly functioning facility when they report to the Board issues as soon as they are noticed.

The review not being presented to the board is a simple mistake and the casino took responsibility for their actions. The decision to report the incident bodes well for Penn National as well as Hollywood Casino as they are doing everything they can to be a responsible gaming provider.

Hollywood Casino New Offerings

The fine comes at a time when Hollywood Casino is busy with other projects. The casino launched online gaming last year and continue to work on their offering to ensure player traffic remains high. Hollywood Casino was one of the first to launch online and offers a nice selection of slots and table games.

The parent company of the brand was also approved recently for their satellite casino development, the Hollywood Casino York, a $120 million project.

The new facility will be located in the York Galleria Mall and will be 80,000 square feet in size. The property will house 500 slot machines and 24 table games. The Board unanimously approved the project in December of last year.

The small fine is just a bump in the road and something the casino is taking care of quickly so they can focus on continuing to expand their business.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.