Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gaming Board Imposes Fines on Casinos `Queen' Hit for $25,000 for Failure to Cruise; 2 Employees Disciplined

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gaming Board Imposes Fines on Casinos `Queen' Hit for $25,000 for Failure to Cruise; 2 Employees Disciplined

Article excerpt

The state gaming board recently recommended disciplinary action against riverboat casinos and six casino employees - including the Casino Queen in East St. Louis and two of its employees.

Officials recommend fines of $125,000 against three boats and the revocation of licenses for six individuals. All fines go to the state's educational assistance fund.

The Casino Queen faces a $25,000 fine for allegedly not acting quick enough to make repairs to its boat, which failed to cruise for several gaming sessions in June.

The casino has come under fire from the board before for its cruising record. In the past, officials with the company have cited heavy river traffic as one reason for not leaving the dock.

The Rock Island Boatworks faces a $50,000 fine in connection with an incident on June 21 in which the Casino Rock Island lost all power while cruising the Mississippi River. The boat ran out of fuel.

After dropping anchor, the riverboat drifted into a flood wall before being secured. At one point, power to the surveillance department failed and all surveillance equipment on board was disabled.

According to the gaming board, Captain Richard Kulpa was suspended by the casino for five days in connection with the incident. The board also recommended suspension of his work license for 90 days.

The board said it recommended the fine against the casino for operating its vessel in a manner that threatened the safety of the casino's patrons and employees and for failing to provide sufficient safeguards for continuous surveillance coverage.

The Empress River Casino in Joliet faces a $50,000 fine for an Aug. 20 incident in which a 15-year-old is accused of wagering on the Empress I.

The fine was less than the $150,000 fine levied against Aurora's Hollywood Casino after a 12-year-old boy was caught playing craps at one of its boats on April 11. …

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