It’s common for online casinos to incentivize new customers, including promotions like the $10 bonus that Hollywoodcasino.com is willing to automatically deposit into new player accounts just for signing up.
But what if you were offered $25 free play as this Penn National Gaming online site was ready to give away soon after it launched in 2019, and what if you could access it 187 different times?
A Bucks County woman discovered she was able to do just that through identity theft. Her creation of fraudulent gaming accounts led to her arrest in 2020, and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board responded Wednesday by making her the first person placed on its involuntary exclusion list for interactive games.
Nearly 1,000 people have their names and photos posted on the gambling commission’s website along with a description of the transgressions that earned them status on the traditional involuntary exclusion list, which bars them from entering the 16 casinos physical. Until the case of Sydney Shorr, a 30-year-old man from Levittown, the conduct of anyone linked to online gambling which since 2019 has grown into a billion-dollar annual industry, had only called for his placement on the list of Pennsylvania prohibiting them from using the 18 iGaming sites.
And according to a petition from the PGCB Office of Enforcement Counsel outlining his case, it all started with his employment at an optometrist’s office.
One account per customer, thank you
The rules regarding the creation of online casino accounts are quite clear: you can use many different sites, but you can only register one account per operator. It is described in the PGCB petition applying to Shorr’s case:
“In accordance with the regulations, a player must only have one interactive gaming account for each interactive gaming certificate holder or interactive gaming operator licensee. Each Interactive Gaming Account must be non-transferable, unique to the Player establishing the Account, and separate from any other account number the Player may have established with the Interactive Gaming Certificate Holder or Gaming Operator License Holder. interactive for a new interactive game activity. »
The petition states that on January 17, 2020, Penn National’s Hollywood iCasino (HCPN) notified the PGCB Gaming Operations Office and Pennsylvania State Police of a suspected case of identity theft involving the one of his clients.
“A review of GeoComply software by HCPN identified that 187 unique players were using the same cellular device to access HCPN’s Hollywoodcasino.com online gaming platform. … Per HCPN’s iGaming Terms and Conditions, a player is limited to one account and that account must be in the player’s name.
The ensuing investigation focused on Shorr, who admitted that she “used her job at an optometrist’s office to obtain patient information to open the fraudulent online gambler accounts.” Fraudulent accounts were not subject to any deposits or withdrawals. The Respondent used the $25 Free Play and Free Play winnings to participate in gambling transactions.”
Nothing obviously gained from him
While it’s clear Shorr committed the acts, while she pleaded guilty to identity theft in Dauphin County Common Pleas Court and was sentenced to three years probation, she has none. apparently drawn nothing, making no withdrawals. There was no indication of tangible harm to those whose identities she used to register fake accounts.
But from the creation of those 187 accounts between December 1 and December 18, 2019, she reportedly had access to a total of $4,675 in Hollywood iCasino free play to indulge herself with – plus other games of chance. who might occupy his time as a result of any gain.
Currently, Hollywoodcasino.com offers nearly 200 different slot titles for players to try out, as well as a variety of “live dealers” and virtual table games, but the offerings were far fewer than when the site didn’t. 2019 was only a few months old.
Ask by penn paris Regarding Shorr’s activity on the site and the operator’s response, Penn National spokesman Jeff Morris said in an email: “Our monitoring system has worked as expected: we We were able to quickly identify suspicious account activity, file a report with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and appropriate law enforcement agencies, and work cooperatively as they investigate the matter.
It is unclear if Penn National is under review by the gaming commission for doing something wrong by not preventing multiple accounts from starting. A PGCB spokesperson noted that investigations are confidential unless and until agency staff present a case to the board for possible sanction.
Shorr herself has her sentence as an illegal gambler, as the first person in Pennsylvania to be barred from such future play, which board chairwoman Denise Smyler noted to be the case when all seven members voted Wednesday to take the action without further comment. The petition itself stated:
“Through Respondent’s actions of stealing information to open fraudulent interactive gaming accounts, she has committed acts that would undermine public confidence in gaming if she were allowed to continue to enjoy gambling. “