Missouri casino fined over infractions
The penalty levied against the Mark Twain Casino is not what some had expected
Last year, the Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) determined that the Mark Twain Casino in LaGrange had conducted itself in a manner inconsistent with the values of the commission. It identified “significant findings” of repeated non-compliance of regulations that extended from July 1, 2015 to April 30, 2017 and those same infractions were identified again in a follow-up audit conducted in February of last year. With so many discrepancies, the casino had been expected to receive a fine that could have run as much as $50,000, but what was announced during the MGC’s meeting yesterday was less – much less.
The casino was found to have allowed two hosts to void point redemptions, which is illegal under Missouri gaming rules – only supervisors are supposed to have that authority. Mark Twain asserted that it had removed the ability in August 2017, but another audit in February of last year showed that the practice was still allowed.
Mark Twain also was shown to have “failed to investigate daily cashless meter variances” between its slot data systems and the devices, as well as had “failed to reconcile the variances prior to filing the daily tax transmittal with the MGC.” Management at the casino assured the MGC that corrective action was taken in June 2017, but the February audit, once again, discovered the issue persisted.
Additionally, the casino was accused of not having notified the MGC’s electronic gaming device coordinator about cashless variances in November 2016, as required by law. As with the other issues, Mark Twain promised that the issue was resolved in June 2017, but the follow-up audit proved otherwise.
Mark Twain committed violations of gambling regulations in the state and either openly lied about having corrected them or is so poorly managed that executives thought the issues were fixed when they really weren’t. Either way, there seems to be a pattern of improper controls and oversight at the casino, which makes one wonder what else executives could be hiding.
The casino has received its penalty and it’s almost laughable. Mark Twain is on the hook for just $5,000. In the gambling world, that is mere peanuts, an amount easily recovered in a single day of action. It hardly seems to be a measure that is meant to ensure the casino doesn’t continue to circumvent regulations.