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Pa. fines Rivers Casino Philadelphia $10K for showing a surveillance video to a defiant customer

A Rivers Casino Philadelphia security officer showed a surveillance video to a belligerent customer to recover a $300 bet. It cost the casino a $10,000 fine.

A non-winning hand of random playing cards.
A non-winning hand of random playing cards.Read moreJulie Jacobson / AP

Rivers Casino Philadelphia will pay a $10,000 fine for violating its own internal controls after a casino employee copied surveillance video on his personal cellphone to show to a truculent customer who was disputing the outcome of a losing hand of blackjack.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Wednesday approved a consent agreement between its enforcement office and Sugarhouse HSP Gaming, the casino operator, for the Jan. 24 episode during which a customer playing Spanish 21 blackjack did not allow the dealer to retrieve a losing $300 bet.

In an attempt to resolve the altercation, a security shift manager went to the surveillance viewing room, recorded surveillance video of the disputed hand on his personal cell phone, then returned to the casino floor and showed it to the customer, who then allowed the losing $300 bet to be collected.

But the security shift manager violated the casino’s internal controls when he copied the video without permission of the surveillance room manager. Those internal controls were approved by the gaming board, and the casino is duty-bound to follow them.

Under the consent agreement, Rivers Philadelphia instituted policies to “make it plain that no video recordings are to be taken and removed,” and videos will be available only to “authorized agencies,” John M. Donnelly, a casino lawyer, told the commission.

No disciplinary action was taken against the security shift supervisor who copied the video to his phone, according to the consent agreement.

The patron who tried to retain his losing bet was permanently evicted from Rivers Philadelphia.