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Rivers Casino, Des Plaines Casino, Fined $25,000 For Luring Problem Gamblers With Perks

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The popular new Rivers Casino in northwest suburban Des Plaines, Ill., was fined $25,000 by the state for soliciting problem gamblers signed up for the state's self-exclusion program with cash advances, players' rewards cards and other promotional perks.

The casino reported the violations itself and, thus, avoided a larger penalty, the Chicago Tribune reports. Bill Keena, the casino's general manager said in a statement to the Tribune that "we take our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen very seriously and to ensure the safety of our patrons."

Gene O’Shea, spokesman for the Illinois Gaming Board, added to the Tribune that the casino's mistakes were largely attributable to the fact that the facility was hectic during its busy early days of operation, a time during which the problem gamblers slipped through the system.

The penalty will benefit the state's education assistance fund.

The state's voluntary self-exclusion program, launched in 2002, allows "persons who have determined they are problem gamblers to self-exclude themselves from all Illinois casinos."

The casino has been wildly lucrative since it opened last July. Earlier this year, the casino was credited with helping the state of Illinois take in more revenue than previous years, CBS Chicago reported. The casino pulled in $33 million in 2011 and outpaced Elgin's Grand Victoria casino as the state's leading gaming revenue-generator. February was the Rivers Casino's best month for revenue yet.

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