The Gaming Commission has fined MGM Springfield $18,000 following three separate "unacceptable failures" that led to people under the age of 21 being allowed to gamble and, in one instance, being served alcohol, the commission's top investigator said Thursday.
A 17-year-old was able to spend about two hours on the casino's gaming floor and was served a complimentary alcoholic beverage on Dec. 25 after security officials at an entrance to the gaming area failed to ask for an ID when the teenager entered, Investigations and Enforcement Bureau Director Loretta Lillios said. When the teen attempted to cash out, the cage cashier alerted security and the teen was removed from the casino.
On Dec. 31, an 18-year-old person was able to gain access to the gaming floor because casino security personnel again did not check for an ID at the entrance, Lillios said. That teen gambled at 11 slot machines for about 90 minutes and was reported to security when a cocktail server asked to see the 18-year-old's ID.
"The protocol is the patron lowers the mask and security is required to ask for identification from anyone who appears under 30," Lillios said. "So this lapse was not acceptable."
On Jan. 20, a 20-year-old person was allowed access to the gaming area even though a scan of their ID at a security checkpoint revealed that it was not a valid ID, Lillios said. That person was on the gaming floor for about 90 minutes and played three hands of blackjack before the dealer requested to see an ID.
MGM agreed to the $18,000 fine to resolve the three violations, Lillios said. She added that MGM reported the incidents to the IEB "in real-time," has taken human resources discipline against employees who were involved and has begun to re-emphasize its ID policies. She said the casino's response has been "very responsible" and shows that it understands the gravity of the situations.
MGM Springfield had issues with people younger than 21 attempting to access the gaming floor soon after it opened in 2018 and in May 2019 was fined $100,000 after 22 documented cases of minors on the gaming floor. Encore Boston Harbor told the Gaming Commission about its own challenges with underage guests in its first few months of operation as well.