Rivers Casino agree on $275,000 settlement for alleged gaming violations
Rivers Casino Portsmouth has agreed to a settlement agreement to pay the sum of $275,000 to the Virginia Lottery for breaching a slew of gaming regulations.
The gaming operator was charged with violations involving underage and voluntarily excluded individuals. Rivers Casino was also accused of faulting with the licensing requirements needed for slot machines and online games in play.
A settlement agreement between Rivers Casino and the regulator, which monitors the activities of casinos across the commonwealth, stated that the alleged regulation breaches occurred ahead of the casino’s grand opening on January 23 and after the occasion. Virginia Lottery claimed that the violations were directly from Rivers Casino via its agents and contractors.
According to Kelly Gee, the executive director of the Virginia Lottery, the regulator discovered multiple violations of the Casino Gaming Law in January and February earlier this year.
The executive director further disclosed that the Virginia Lottery had worked together with the casino for the first two months of 2023 to review the alleged gaming law violations.
“Our compliance team, alongside the casino, concurrently reviewed some alleged regulatory violations,” Gee said.
“Specifically, the Lottery identified alleged violations with respect to underage and voluntarily excluded persons, licensing requirements related to slot machines, and unauthorized games in play.”
The settlement statement did not give details of the violation relating to underage gambling. Spokespersons from Rivers Casino and Virginia Lottery also declined to reveal further information on the matter.
The regulator stated that Rivers Casino had been fully cooperative while the regulator carried out its inquiry and had adopted the corrective measures. It added that the casino had “developed a corrective action plan to ensure future compliance with the Casino Gaming Law and its related regulations.”
“We take these matters very seriously and respect the decision of the Virginia Lottery Board,” the casino said in a statement.
“We cooperated fully and share the VLB’s commitment to compliance and regulatory vigilance.”
The terms and conditions section of the settlement revealed that both parties wanted a resolution outside of a formal administrative hearing to cut down on costs and the inconvenience. It asserted that the agreement “does not constitute an allegation, an admission, or a denial by either party that a violation of law or regulation has occurred.”
Gee added that following River Casino’s payment, the matter was now closed, and the $275,000 fine would be sent to the Commonwealth’s General Fund as required by state law.
When asked how they were made aware of the gaming violation, the executive director stated that the details were sensitive and could not be disclosed in an open session.
Gee continued, “I do want to just reiterate for the board that the lottery onsite compliance team, our headquarters team, worked with the casino to address the scope of the alleged violations and the remedial measures.”
Details of the investigation would have reportedly been brought to the board members if both parties had not reached a settlement.
Rivers Casino, which received its operating license on November 6, 2022, recorded over $56 million in GGR in the months that followed its late January launch.