08/27/2009 12:00AM

Gulfstream plans to fight $800,000 fine

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Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., plans to contest an $800,000 fine levied by the state's gambling regulatory commission against its slot-machine operations, an attorney for the racetrack and casino said Wednesday.

Marc Dunbar, Gulfstream's attorney, said that the casino would contest the fine because of its role in an investigation that led to the penalty being levied. The state's Department of Business and Professional Regulation handed down the fine on Aug. 21 after concluding an investigation into a 2007 scheme by which employees stole $290,000 from the casino by using cards that allowed them to play slot machines for free.

"It was the company's diligence that brought this matter to the attention of state regulators," Dunbar said in a statement, arguing that similar situations has resulted in fines of $5,000 to $10,000. "Gulfstream Park was the whistleblower here."

After the scheme was brought to light, Gulfstream fired six employees of its casino. One of the fired employees was convicted of organized fraud.

Gulfstream is owned and operated by Magna Entertainment Corp., which filed for bankruptcy in early March and is currently attempting to reorganize.