Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Modified by Danny Bradford on March 31, 2021 in Legislation And Regulation News

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, also known as the PGCB, handles the regulation of all the local casino gambling points in the Keystone State and includes Pennsylvania's land-based casinos, online casinos, and sportsbooks. PGCB tries to keep all dealings as fair and transparent as possible and enforces a harsh and firm check on the operators so that customers and players always get fair and appropriate results.

History

The PGCB is a governmental agency that was founded in 2004, acting as the licensing and regulatory agency for the state. The PGCB is a part of history, being the first agency to be created in the state of Pennsylvania in more than 30 years. The agency is responsible for making sure that all slot machines, casinos, and other casino outlets are regulated, safe, and secure to play at. That being said, the PGCB is not responsible for overseeing and regulating games of chance, which include games such as the lottery or such games at other clubs.

The PGCB’s website states its mission as:

“Protect the interest of the public by ensuring the integrity of legalized gaming through the strict enforcement of the law and regulations, the licensing of qualified individuals and entities, and fulfilling the objectives of legalized gaming in the Commonwealth to deliver a significant source of revenue, assist the horse racing industry, provide broad economic opportunities and enhance tourism."

The Structure

The PGCB is made up of seven members, all of whom have voting rights. Three of these members are chosen by the Governor of Pennsylvania, and the remaining members are chosen by the Leadership of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The current Executive Director of the PGCB is Kevin F. O'Toole, someone who has vast experience for the job, having served as the Executive Director for more than a decade since 2009. But the experience does not end there. Even at the time of taking the job, O'Toole had a lot of experience under his belt, having been appointed as the Executive Director for the Oneida Indian Nation Gaming Commission way back in 1997, and as a Commissioner in February of 2007. Although he was experienced even before being Director at the Oneida Indian Nation Gaming Commission, he was appointed as the Deputy Attorney General for the Division of Gaming Enforcement from 1981-1997. O'Toole is also the recipient of the famous Gaming Regulator of the Year for the Americas award, which he won back in 2012. Fair to say, his resume and list of skills speak for themselves, and it looks like the PGCB is in very good hands.

Department and Duties

The PGCB receives most of its funding from slot machine revenues, with the agency not receiving any direct taxpayer funding. It is responsible for managing 14 licenses for slot machine operators in the state, out of which two can be issued to existing hotel resorts, five can be issued to stand-alone casinos, and seven can be issued to existing horse tracks.

PGCB has its headquarters in Harrisburg and conducts its slot machine testing at the slot-machine testing center established in September 2008. The PGCB is provided with a list of payouts by the state's casinos. PGCB and its employees then test the respective machine at their center to test out the accuracy of the reports. The agency also has an office dedicated to "understanding and alleviating the devastating effects of pathological gambling”. Casinos must have different plans, including employee plans, self-exclusion plans, plans on dealing with compulsive gamblers, and more, all of which are to be regulated and looked at by the PGCB.

The PGCB is a well-organized and well-structured agency with many departments created for specific roles and purposes. The agency is further divided as:

  • Office of Hearing and Appeals.
  • Office of Chief Counsel.
  • Office of Enforcement Counsel.
  • Office of Sports Wagering Operations.
  • Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling.
  • Bureau of Licensing.
  • Bureau of Gaming Operations.
  • Bureau of Investigations and Enforcements.
  • Bureau of Administration.
  • Bureau of Casino Compliance.

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