An underage visitor might instead be walking away with a criminal record.
That could be the fate awaiting Rong Lin, 20, of Fresh Meadows, N.Y., after police determined Wednesday evening he had a fake ID after he'd won a jackpot at a Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem slot machine.
Police and gaming officials say they don't know the precise size of the jackpot which ended up giving away Lin's actual age.
Harbach said winners who hit a jackpot of $1,300 or more are approached by Sands workers because of tax issues that accompany the size of the prize. Smaller jackpots can be turned in at the cashier's window. It wasn't clear how Lin tried to get his winnings, but either way requires the winner to provide some identification, according to Harbach.
This, he said, is often how the casino identifies not just people with a false identification but those who have been banned -- voluntarily or otherwise -- from the gaming establishment.
"We say all the time, casinos have got to be the worst place to go to commit a crime," Harbach said. "It's just not a risk people should be taking."
Lin's winnings were forfeited after police were called by casino workers to check his ID, which they found suspicious. Authorities say the photo in the ID didn't match Lin's appearance. Harbach said the money Lin would have gone home with will be surrendered to the state.
Guide Value Emmanuel Costa Sale Art For Price Paintings Harbach said casinos are responsible for those underage gamblers who make it past the first wave of security, where identification is checked for anyone who appears even close to underage. Harbach said more advanced fake IDs can make the job trickier for casino security checking for underage visitors.
Since 2006, Harbach said the gaming control board has encountered 120 incidents of underage gambling where a casino was fined by the board. He said that's by no means a definite picture of all the incidents recorded -- only those where a fine was levied. In that time, casinos in the commonwealth have been fined about $500,000 for allowing those underage to gamble, he said.
Despite that they stand to be penalized, Harbach said casinos don't hide potential underage gamblers from authorities.
"They report this kind of thing right away," he said. "For these individuals to think they're going to get away with something like this -- they're wrong. And there's criminal charges attached to it and you could end up with a record."
A spokeswoman for the Sands said the casino would not comment on an ongoing police investigation.
Lin is to be cited for underage gambling, state police report. Paperwork had yet to be filed Thursday afternoon with District Judge Patricia Romig-Passaro in Bethlehem, according to court records.