Pair hit with substantial Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board fines

Last week reportedly saw the operator of The Meadows Racetrack and Casino near Pittsburgh and the former boss of Luzerne County’s Mohegan Sun Pocono hit with fines from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board totaling $79,500.

According to a press release, the Washington Trotting Association Incorporated was penalized to the tune of $12,000 on Wednesday after being found guilty of allowing a customer already on its self-exclusion list to gamble and cash in casino chips. The firm runs The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County and was also slapped with a punishment of $7,500 for a reported failure to notify the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board of ‘construction modifications’ that had been erected ‘between two restricted areas’.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board explained that Wednesday moreover saw it order Robert Soper, the former President and Chief Executive Officer for Mohegan Sun Pocono o 7BALL CX perator Downs Racing, to pay a personal fine of $60,000 for allegedly failing to disclose his interests in ten other businesses including digital advertising platform providers ReferLocal and Drinkholder.

According to a report from The Citizens’ Voice newspaper, Soper was with Downs Racing from 2005 until March of 2015 when he left to become Chief Executive Officer for the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. However, he resigned this post in February to be replaced by predecessor Mitchell Etess after a financial review purportedly uncovered irregularities at the Pennsylvania property.

The Wilkes-Barre-headquartered newspaper reported that Soper has since established the Sun Gaming and Hospitality enterprise in Sunrise, Florida, and was penalized by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board after it was discovered that he held interests in ReferLocal, which had advertised free-play slots and deals inside Mohegan Sun Pocono for six years until February.

The Citizens’ Voice reported that Soper additionally held a 20% stake in Drinkholder, which had installed restroom drink holders featuring advertising at Mohegan Sun Pocono. These devices had furthermore promoted a mobile app from a concern called Path to French Girls in which Soper held a 13.89% stake that prompted users to take a selfie that could subsequently be transformed by artists into a portrait.

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The newspaper reported that neither ReferLocal nor Drinkholder had ever been issued with a vendor casino license although the former has since applied with the status of the application described as ‘pending’.

Soper reportedly described the failure to disclose his interests to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as an ‘unintentional’ clerical error before telling The Citizens’ Voice that he had already paid the $60,000 penalty.

Kris Jones, founder of Wilkes-Barre-based ReferLocal, told the newspaper that he had only ever known Soper to be ‘meticulous and of the highest integrity with everything he did’ and that it was ‘really unfortunate’ that the mistake had led to questions ‘around his honesty and ethics’.

“I truly believe it was an honest mistake that he would correct in a second if he could go back in time,” Jones reportedly told The Citizens’ Voice.