PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional a mandatory $75,000 fine imposed on a Pittsburgh casino poker dealer convicted of having stolen $200 worth of chips.

The unanimous ruling Tuesday by the state’s highest court called the fine “strikingly disproportionate” and said the fact that it was mandatory “merely exacerbates the disproportion.”

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Twenty-nine-year-old Matthew Eisenberg was charged with sneaking $1 or $5 poker chips off the table at The Rivers Casino. Attorney Michael Santicola argued that his client would have faced a much smaller fine if convicted of stealing from anyone other than a casino — and it wouldn’t be mandatory.

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The state said the fine was intended to deter behavior that would undermine confidence in the gambling industry. Representatives of the casino and the district attorney’s office declined comment. 

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