New England Casino Dealer Academy Fined for Improper Advertising and Record-Keeping Practices
BOSTON – Today, the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) announced that it fined North Attleboro-based New England Casino Dealer Academy (NECDA), resolving allegations that the occupational school engaged in improper advertising, failed to maintain adequate student records, and failed to request approval to change ownership. This is the first enforcement action DPL has taken against an occupational school since gaining regulatory oversight of the field in August 2012.
NECDA, a for-profit private occupational school located in the Emerald Square Mall provides training for casino dealers, pit bosses, table supervisors, and other casino workers.
“The Division of Professional Licensure has been working with the Advisory Council on Private Occupational Schools to develop new regulations that will better serve current and prospective students without putting undue burdens on schools,” said Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony, who also serves as chair of the Advisory Council. “We expect to release proposed regulations later this year, which would provide further guidance for these schools on their disclosure and maintenance obligations, including proper record-keeping and advertising rules.”
“Private occupational schools serve a critical need in preparing people for new jobs and careers, but they need to follow the rules to ensure that students get what they pay for,” said DPL Director Mark Kmetz. “This agency is working every day to protect students and promote a fair and competitive marketplace among occupational schools.”
Under the terms of the agreement, NECDA admitted to the violations and agreed to pay a $1,500 fine. The school also agreed to cease the advertising practices in question, to ensure that all student records were complete and available for inspection, and to notify the agency of all ownership changes in a timely manner going forward.
During a routine compliance inspection of the school in March, DPL investigators found evidence that NECDA was improperly advertising a salary that students would receive if they successfully completed the school’s casino dealer program. Specifically, investigators found brochures with claims that “Casino Dealers can make between $30 to $50 per hour including tips,” as well as claims regarding when and how many casinos would open in Massachusetts. Investigators also found that some of the student enrollment agreements in the school’s files were missing signatures from NECDA representatives. In addition, NECDA failed to request approval from DPL for a change in ownership, in violation of current occupational school regulations.
DPL investigators also found additional advertising materials making improper claims about salary compensation during a follow up inspection in June. Specifically, a sign posted in the window of the school read: “Want to Earn $65K to $90K Per Year? Train to Become a Professional Casino Dealer Today. Inquire Within.” Investigators also found an additional student file that was missing signatures from NECDA representatives.
DPL gained oversight of private occupational schools and their sales representatives in August 2012 from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Currently, there are more than 165 occupational schools licensed to operate at approximately 245 locations in Massachusetts.
DPL is a regulatory agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process for more than 370,000 licensees in trades and professions under the jurisdiction of 31 boards of registration.For more information, or to file a complaint against a private occupational school, visit www.mass.gov/dpl/schools. Follow DPL on Twitter @MassDPL.