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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has recently published its list of involuntary excluded players to the internet, to make them more identifiable. Over 800 names are on the list, and several of the most recent names belong to poker players who were caught across the state.

Poker Players in Hot Water

The latest additions to the PGCB’s involuntary exclusion list were two players at the Rivers Casino in Philadelphia, who were caught texting each other at the poker table. While that might sound innocent enough, they were actually engaging in cheating.

The two players were texting each other information about their cards. As a result, they each had a unfair advantage over the other players at the table.

Another pair of poker players were recently added to the PGCB’s list, as well. They were found to be using a more traditional means of cheating, as they were switching cards while playing a game of High Card Flush.

Categories of Offenders

Cheaters are, in fact, not the most populous category of offenders on the PGCB’s self-exclusion list. The group with the most names is actually theft with 213 offenders. Cheating is the second most common casino-related offense with 205 names on the list. The rest of the names fall under the following categories:

  • Child endangerment (93)
  • Underage (85)
  • Disorderly conduct (42)
  • Assisting underage players (35)
  • Using counterfeit currency (30)
  • Drugs charges (19)
  • Criminal activity (17)
  • Assault (15)
  • Trespass (10)
  • Harassment (10)

Any offenders are noticed before they are added to the list. This gives them the opportunity to fight against their inclusion but if they are still found guilty then they will be on the list for the next 5 years. After this, they will be able to appeal to have their names removed.

The list was started in 2010, and saw a significant increase in the number of names being added to the list once table games were brought into casinos. This number stayed relatively level throughout the years, but there was a drop in 2018 when just 77 names were added to the list.

This could be due to the fact that online gambling is now available in Pennsylvania. It may mean that fewer players are taking their harmful behaviour to land-based venues, but it also means that there may be the need for more policing in the online gambling market in order to catch cheating players .