New Jersey Casino Control Commission Overrules DGE

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission made the rare step of granting a key employee license to a former Louisiana casino manager despite a report from the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement recommending his disqualification.

In an unusual move, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission granted a key employee casino license to a former Louisiana casino manager despite a recommendation of disqualification by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The commission granted Anthony C. Patrone’s application for an initial key license. Patrone, 53, of Margate, filed his application in February 2017. He has worked in the casino industry for nearly 31 years including employment at Atlantic City casinos, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

The disqualification stemmed from a 2016 arrest while he was general manager of the Cyprus Bayou Casino Hotel in Charenton, Louisiana. Patrone’s Alford plea in the case—a guilty plea where the defendant does not admit to the accused offense—on a lesser charge prevented him from “clearly and convincingly demonstrating his good character, honesty and integrity” as required by the Casino Control Act, according to the division.

The commission, however, voted in favor of granting Patrone’s application due to a 45-page decision issued by Vice Chair Sharon Harrington in February. That report investigated Patrone’s arrest for felony theft, computer fraud and obstruction of justice on Feb. 17, 2016, following an investigation by Louisiana State Police.

According to the Press, the investigation centered around the alleged manipulation of the Cyprus Bayou’s personnel database in order to secure an annual bonus. However, Harrington’s report noted Patrone simply failed to receive formal written approval from the governing tribal council, resulting in the Alford plea to the misdemeanor charge of unauthorized use of a movable object without intent to deprive Oct. 5, 2016. Patrone’s record was expunged several months later.