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Gaming Board Official Concerned About Free On-Line Casino Games

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(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some Pennsylvania casinos have been offering free casino type games on the internet.

This is a practice that’s been put on hold for the time being by a top gaming board official, who wants to make sure they’re not accessible to young people.

There’s no money involved in playing the internet games, some of which mimic games offered in casinos.

Cyrus Pitre is the Chief Enforcement Counsel for the Gaming Control Board.

He says the idea is just to whet the appetites of people to play the games for real.

Pitre has asked the casinos to stop, because he’s concerned about just who the casinos are targeting with the games.

“I always go back to Joe Camel on the cigarette packages. You know who are you trying to attract with this? Are you trying to get people who aren’t old enough? Are you trying to attract them to say ‘hey, that’s something I want to do when I get older?” Pitre said.

The casinos have obliged Pitre’s call to stop offering the games on their websites.

He says, at minimum he wants casinos to explain exactly what they want to offer on the Internet and what controls they will put in place.

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