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Audit Focuses On Lottery Information Systems

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A state audit made public on Wednesday cited shortcomings in how the Maryland State Lottery Agency has monitored aspects of the state's slot machine gambling program. The agency has responded that it has addressed the concerns.

Auditors found a lack of supervisory review of reports about cases when internal control policies were not followed. Auditors noted 57 reports at the casino in Perryville. They included reports that access to the rear of the casino were not being monitored as required, that payouts were not in accordance with the lottery's agreed upon rate and that slot machines were shutting down unexpectedly.

"As a result, there was a lack of assurance that the appropriate action to resolve the incidents was taken," the audit said.

The lottery responded that supervisory personnel are documenting their review and approval of the compliance reports to make sure they are handled properly.

Auditors also found the lottery did not adequately monitor slot machines that had not been working to make sure contractual requirements had been met. Auditors found that 78 reports of slot machines not working for more than 90 minutes involving 125 machines.

"We calculated that liquidated damages totaling $60,000 could have been assessed for machines that were down for more than 90 minutes," auditors wrote.

The lottery says it has put procedures in place to monitor slot machines that have been inoperable for more than 90 minutes and to assess damages against manufacturer service providers when appropriate. As of April 30, the agency said it has collected $22,000 in damages between February 2011 and February 2012.

The audit covers the period between March 17, 2008 and March 6, 2011.

It also noted security and control deficiencies relating to the lottery's information systems, namely that the network was not adequately secured against external threats.

The lottery says it was in full compliance with recommendations made by auditors as of last month.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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