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(Radio Iowa) – July 31, 2014 By 

Casinos in Burlington and Dubuque received fines today from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for violations. Commission administrator, Brian Ohorilko, says a minor was challenged, but still allowed to enter and remain on the gambling floor of the Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington for 11 hours.

The commission approved an agreement where the casino would pay $15,000 for the violation. Catfish Bend manager, Rob Higgins, says they’ve taken steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. “We’ve met with DCI, we’ve gone over I-D’s and so forth. Between the disciplinary action and the continued training, I think we’ve got everything under control,” Higgins says.

Higgins apologized for the violation. “We do take it seriously and I think our track record speaks for itself, but it is still inexcusable,” Higgins says. “And I am here to say that we are going to continue trying to improve that and make sure everybody is following the policy and that everybody is responsible. That is the key to the whole thing that we’ve trained the staff to make sure that everybody is responsible, not just security.”

The Mystic Casino in Dubuque agreed to a penalty of $5,000 after a man who had excluded himself from gambling entered the casino in March and tried to redeem a promotional coupon. Upon investigation, the casino determined they had used a mailing list and sent out promotional items to five people who had banned themselves from gambling after the list was not properly cross-checked.

Casino chief operating officer Tom Wiedmayer says they reported the information as soon as they found out. “The actual patron that came in was a local barment, not a statewide self-exclusion patron,” Wiedmayer says. “We notified through confidential communication the five customers that were impact that were mailed to let them know that that was sent in error. None of them came to the casino.”

Wiedmayer says they have changed the way they send out the material. “We’ve implemented procedures that we will not be purchasing lists anymore and if we do procedures against the statewide self-exclusion list,” Wiedmayer says. It was the second offense in the last 12 months of this type for the casino. The casino paid a $3,000 penalty for the last offense.

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