Horseshoe Hammond Fined $100K For Underage Gambler Entry

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Horseshoe Hammond was fined $100,000 as part of a settlement agreement by the Indiana Gaming Commission during its Tuesday meeting for allowing an underage person to enter the casino.

It was the largest settlement reached in the meeting against either a casino or sports wagering operator, and Horseshoe Hammond had an additional three counts that raised the overall total to $108,000. Three other casinos — Hollywood in Lawrenceburg ($41,500 for eight counts), Indiana Grand ($23,500 for five), and Caesars Southern Indiana ($21,500 for six) — had settlement totals that reached five figures.

All told, the state’s 12 casinos accumulated settlement costs totaling $246,000, and Caesars holdings had a separate settlement of $6,500 for three counts. Among the sports betting operators, the Winner’s Circle off-track betting facility in Clarksville had settlements totaling $47,500 for three violations, while its New Haven and Indianapolis locations were docked $1,500 and $1,000, respectively, for a single count apiece.

Rush Street Interactive, which operates BetRivers, had the highest settlement cost among mobile sports wagering operators at $9,500 for two counts. DraftKings was forced to pay $6,000 for three counts. Roar Digital, which runs BetMGM, had a $5,500 settlement for two counts, while the IGC had a $2,500 settlement for two counts against Churchill Downs, which operates BetAmerica.

PointsBet ($4,000) and Unibet ($3,000) each had a single violation, as the sports wagering settlements added up to $81,000 in total.

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Fake ID causes issue at Hammond

The incident at Hammond occurred in November, according to General Manager Kathryn Jenkins, who noted it was the first such occurrence at the casino since 2018. Horseshoe Hammond has been using Veridocs to validate patrons’ identification since 2017, but in this instance, Jenkins said “a young man who had a fake ID had a really good fake ID.” He was able to avoid detection and enter the casino.

Jenkins added Horseshoe has since updated its proof process as recently as this month, and anyone who appears to be under the age of 30 who fails the Veridocs identification process would be allowed entry only if approved by an on-site gaming control officer.

The Horseshoe Hammond GM estimated that 3% of the identification cards are denied by Veridocs for a variety of reasons, including physical wear and tear on an identification card, which then leads to a security officer making a decision after visual inspection. Jenkins could not fully guarantee whether other similar occurrences had taken place, but she said her venue would self-report them and “we do everything we can to ensure that we just allow people that are aged properly [to enter].”

Under further questioning from IGC Commissioner Susan Williams, Jenkins noted the same person tried to enter an Illinois casino with the same fake ID, but an officer there realized it was a fake. Jenkins added that a criminal investigation involving the man was processed with the IGC and it is looking for “ways to ’86’ somebody who is underage from our property, but we’ll make sure he’s within the process that we’re able to do.”

The updated policy for entry into Horseshoe Hammond will be submitted to the IGC as part of the corrective action plan in response to the count. Jenkins said her staff is also undergoing further training for security officers to help identify markings for fake IDs. A request to the Illinois Gaming Board for further information on the man with the fake ID has yet to be responded to.

The settlement amount for this specific count, as explained by the IGC, is based on a rolling six-month review of incidents, which means the 2018 occurrence did not factor in the amount.

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Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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