Harrah’s Hoosier Park Markets Wrong Responsible Gambling Hotline Number

Posted on June 1, 2021

Harrah’s Hoosier Park had to pony up $2,500 for a responsible gambling slip-up last week.

The casino had been sending out the wrong phone number for the problem gambling hotline.

Indiana Gaming Commission fines Hoosier Park

The correct number for Indiana’s problem gambling hotline is 1-800-994-8448, or 1-800-9-WITH-IT.

The hotline is just one of the state’s problem gambling resources to help Hoosiers in need.

Unfortunately, it only takes one typo to create a problem.

Harrah’s Hoosier Park sent out the incorrect hotline number in about ten emails every month starting back in February 2019.

The mistake went unnoticed for almost two years.

Some of those messages went out to tens of thousands of gamblers at a time.

The casino reported that the incorrect number was likely on a piece of marketing collateral that was sent to 56,000 patrons.

A marketing official caught wind of the typo back in January while she was proofreading a new email.

That eventually led to the Indiana Gaming Commission fining the casino during its May 25 meeting.

Hoosier Park was fined for seven different counts totaling $13,000 during that meeting.

The fine for the incorrect phone number was $2,500.

Casino fines are common

Fines like this are commonplace in states like Indiana that have large gaming industries.

After all, workers are only human. Mistakes happen and most of them are harmless.

The gaming commission approved over $200,000 worth of fines during its May 25 meeting alone.

That money came from dozens of counts of wrongdoing against a wide spread of sportsbooks, casinos, licensees, and other entities.

Most of those fines are for simple mistakes like failing to file paperwork on time.

However, responsible gambling slips like Hoosier Park’s are more serious.

A case of missing paperwork might be a harmless mistake, but sending out false hotline numbers can have real consequences.

The incorrect number could have reached someone that actually needed the hotline for help, impeding their ability to find the correct resources.

The occasional slip-up is common, but it’s rare that the mistake goes unnoticed for nearly two years.

Do Indiana gaming fines go far enough?

Caesars owns Hoosier Park, and a $2,500 fine is ultimately a drop in the bucket for the company.

That begs the question: do fines like this go far enough for responsible gambling mistakes?

Hoosier Park reported over $23 million of adjusted gross revenue during April 2021 alone.

In other words, the responsible gambling fine accounts for only .0001% of the casino’s revenue just last month.

Since the mistake went on for nearly two years, a $2,500 fine can’t even reasonably count as a slap on the wrist.

It’s hard to argue that tiny fines like these act as any kind of real deterrence for the state’s casinos.

Responsible gambling problems undermine Indiana’s gaming industry as a whole.

Hoosier Park’s mistake has now been fixed, but more serious issues could occur if companies don’t take problem gambling seriously.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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