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Four Maryland casinos accused of admitting underage customers

The Horseshoe Casino, as seen from Russell Street near downtown Baltimore at dusk.
The Horseshoe Casino, as seen from Russell Street near downtown Baltimore at dusk. (Al Drago / Baltimore Sun)

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore would pay $8,000 and Maryland Live $1,000 in sanctions to settle allegations they allowed underage customers inside.

They are among four Maryland casinos with which state gambling regulators have reached consent agreements to address a recurring problem for casinos.

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The consent agreements, which require final approval by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, appeared in the online agenda of the commission's monthly meeting scheduled for Thursday.

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and Maryland Live each entered two agreements with regulators, while Hollywood Casino Perryville and Ocean Downs each have one.

In all of the agreements, the casinos said they would take corrective measures to ensure patrons are at least 21. Several of the agreements include sanctions.

Under one, Horseshoe would pay $6,000 to the commission. It received a violation notice in February alleging that "on five separate occasions, underage individuals were admitted into the casino and onto the gaming floor," according to an online copy of the document.

Under another agreement, Horseshoe would pay $2,000. A third agreement calls for Maryland Live to pay $1,000.

The remaining agreements didn't include penalties. A Horseshoe representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A query to Maryland Live was forwarded to a general manager, who was unavailable.

Keeping underage patrons out is a persistent problem for casinos. Each month, casino compliance reports compiled by state regulators contain examples of the problem.

In March, for example, three underage customers entered Horseshoe using suspected phony identification, while two others "entered the casino by climbing over the barrier into the smoking terrace," the latest compliance report said. All were evicted.

Also in March, an underage Maryland Live customer was given a security badge so he could use the bathroom but used his access to gamble, the report said..

The March incidents weren't included in the just-filed consent agreements.

In 2013, Maryland Live agreed to pay $20,000 and Hollywood Casino Perryville $10,000 after similar allegations about underage customers were reported by regulators.

The new agreements say they don't "constitute an admission or denial by either party that a violation of law or regulation has occurred."

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