The New Jersey Casino Control Commission has reportedly granted a key employee license to the former manager of a southern Louisiana casino in spite of objections from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
According to a Thursday report from The Press of Atlantic City newspaper, the three-member body unanimously approved the application of Anthony Patrone despite hearing evidence that the 53-year-old had been arrested on felony charges around two years ago while working as the General Manager for Louisiana’s tribal-owned Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement had reportedly advised against granting the license due to Patrone having been detained on allegations of felony theft, obstruction and computer fraud in 2016 following an investigation by the Louisiana State Police. The regulator purportedly stated that he had later entered an Alford plea, which does not involve a defendant admitting guilt, on a lesser charge and as a result was not able to ‘clearly and convincingly [demonstrate] his good character, honesty and integrity’ under the provisions of the Casino Control Act.
However, The Press of Atlantic City reported that the final decision on whether to issue the license had been largely swayed by a 45-page report written by Sharon Harrington, Vice-Chair for the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, some two months earlier. In it she purportedly detailed that the charges against Patrone had involved an accusation that he had manipulated the Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel’s personnel database so as to secure an annual bonus.
The newspaper reported that Harrington’s report further purportedly explained that the incident had not been the act of a criminal mastermind but had materialized as a result of Patrone’s failure to first obtain written formal permission for his actions from the Charenton-based casino’s owner, the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana. As a result, he had admitted to the misdemeanor charge of the unauthorized use of a movable object without any intent to deprive although this was later expunged from his records.
The Press of Atlantic City reported that Patrone has almost 31 years of experience in the casino industry including stints with Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino as well as the Tropicana Atlantic City but did not say with which New Jersey venue he now intends to seek employment.
“To be found definitively suitable in my home state is deeply gratifying, especially because of the extremely high bar set by the New Jersey regulatory structure throughout its history,” reportedly read a statement from Patrone.