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Audit criticizes handling of unclaimed slots winnings

Vouchers worth $704,000 in slot-machine winnings went unclaimed in 2013 at Maryland casinos and were not handled correctly by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, a new audit found.

All of the unclaimed winnings should have gone go the state, said the audit by the Department of Legislative Services.

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Instead, the audit said, the funds were handled as if it they were regular gambling proceeds to be divided up between casinos and the state. As a result, $347,000 did not end with the state even though regulations provide that funds not claimed for an excessive period "shall become the property of the state."

According to the audit, the agency said in response that it is seeking to change the regulation "to reflect its practice." It said it submitted a revised regulation proposal that was published in the Maryland Register.

The audit also found that the agency's network was not adequately protected from "untrusted" traffic. The agency said it was addressing the problem.

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