Arts & Entertainment, etc. and Casinos and Horse Tracks and Gambling and Tourism & Hospitality

Shelbyville casino fined $150,000 by state gaming agency

March 16, 2012

Indiana Live has been fined more than $150,000 by state regulators for violating several gaming rules, including sending electronic promotions to dozens of people who had voluntarily excluded themselves from receiving casino solicitations.

The Indiana Gaming Commission announced the penalties at a Thursday meeting after reaching a settlement with the Shelbyville horsetrack and casino that is attempting to reorganize under the protection of bankruptcy.

The commission has doled out larger fines but not very often, said Ernest Yelton, IGC executive director.

“Yes, that’s larger than normal,” he said.

The commission handed down fines to eight other casinos at the meeting, the largest being $15,000.

Indiana Live did not return phone calls from IBJ seeking comment.

IGC fined Indiana Live $75,000 for a September incident in which a participant of the state’s voluntary exclusion program notified the commission that she had received a promotional e-mail from the casino.

A marketing and advertising firm Indiana Live uses to blast e-mails to patrons mistakenly deleted the most current list of e-mail addresses sent to it by the casino, the settlement agreement said.

Indiana Live also was fined $40,000 for various alcohol violations. They include an August 2011 incident at the on-site Rumors bar in which a security officer found Indiana Live’s interim general manager and chief financial officer, as well as two other managers, drinking alcohol well past the 3 a.m. cutoff time for serving liquor.

During an investigation, the interim general manager admitted he was intoxicated when he left the casino in his vehicle.

“Due to the significance of the position held by the interim general manager/CFO, the commission has determined that his presence and participation in these events encouraged the non-compliant behavior of the subordinate employees,” the settlement agreement said.

In addition, Indiana Live was fined $30,000 for hiring a non-licensed vendor to analyze its slot machines and payouts.

Other fines included a $6,000 penalty for allowing a minor on the casino floor, $4,000 for allowing certain employees to perform job duties they weren’t licensed to do, and $1,500 for failing to secure a slot machine’s open “belly door.”

Meanwhile, Indiana Live’s parent company, Indianapolis Downs LLC, wants lenders to grant a one-year extension of financing for the Chapter 11 reorganization that otherwise would expire in April.

If the extension is approved at a requested hearing on March 22, the new maturity date would be April 10, 2013.

Indiana Live has received overtures from potential buyers, including the owner of local competitor Hoosier Park & Casino in Anderson. A written offer came from Indianapolis-based Centaur Holdings LLC, which owns Hoosier Park.

Indianapolis Downs missed an interest payment on $375 million in second-lien notes in November 2010 and filed for reorganization on April 7. The reorganization that began in April 2011 is being financed with a $103.1 million loan from existing first-lien lenders.
 

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