According to an Associated Press story dated July 21, 26-year-old Matthew Eisenberg, who worked as a poker dealer at The Rivers Casino near Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty to the theft and was sentenced to one year of probation. However, the count to which he pleaded is covered under Pennsylvania’s gaming laws, and mandates an additional $75,000 fine for theft in a casino.
Eisenberg was fired last year after the casino’s video surveillance team caught him attempting to surreptitiously take $1 and $5 chips from some poker pots. They estimate he stole a total of about $200. State police determined through video surveillance that he sneaked chips into his tip box on 108 occasions.
While it seems like an awful lot of money for such a petty crime, Mike Manko, spokesman for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr., says the mandatory fine is meant exclusively to protect players and assure the integrity of the gaming industry. This is also the first time the mandatory $75,000 fine is enforced by a State court.