Empire Resorts, Inc. (nasdaqgm:NYNY) (together with its subsidiaries, “Empire”) announced today that it will no longer permit individuals under the age of 18 years of age to enter Monticello Casino & Raceway (“MCR”). As a responsible member of the gaming industry, Empire wants its guests to enjoy the entertainment value offered at MCR but is also committed to the prevention of underage gambling. Individuals must be 18 years of age or older to purchase lottery tickets, wager on horse races and play video gaming machines (“VGMs”) in New York. With the authorization from the New York State Gaming Commission, in an effort to prevent underage gambling at MCR, beginning October 10, 2014, Empire will implement a new policy that requires individuals to be 18 years of age or older to enter and remain in MCR. Prior to the implementation of this new policy, underage individuals, with adult supervision, were permitted in certain non-gaming areas of MCR. The purpose of this new policy is to serve as a deterrent to adults who are tempted to permit their underage children to join them on the gaming floor, as well as to remove the temptation of unauthorized gambling by youth who may attempt to sneak on the gaming floor and who are too young to recognize the risks associated with underage gambling.
Empire supports the New York Responsible Play Partnership’s “Under 18?/We Check ID/ It’s The Law” educational initiative. All Empire employees have received training on underage gambling and the requirement for ID to be shown for participants in any of these adult activities and to enter the gaming floor or remain in MCR. “We understand that there are social costs associated with underage gambling and unattended minors and we support the development of education, awareness and prevention programs to address these concerns,” said Nanette Horner, Empire’s Chief Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Chair of Empire’s Responsible Gaming Committee.
“New York law prohibits gambling under the age of 18 at all OTBs, horse racing facilities and VGM facilities” said Joseph D’Amato, Chief Executive Officer of Empire, “and MCR’s new policy should help remove the temptation of underage wagering within the facility.”
James Maney, Executive Director of the New York Council on Problem Gambling, said, “Research indicates that adolescents are at high risk for developing a gambling problem. Therefore, we applaud Empire in taking this significant step towards preventing underage gambling at their facility and raising awareness of underage gambling.”