Fine reversed for Canadian gambling flights

Borgata off the hook on VIP punter flights

Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is off the hook on a $25 000 fine imposed on it by the Canadian authorities for flying top gamblers to and from Montreal and Toronto.

This week a Canadian transport regulatory panel considered an appeal and ruled that because the flights were private and not open to the general public, the Borgata did not need a Canadian aviation licence.

The Canadian Transportation Agency cited the Borgata for 10 flights its two private jets made between Atlantic City and Montreal or Toronto from June 2008 to March 2009.

The agency claimed that the Borgata needed a Canadian licence. But the casino appealed, and won, convincing an appeals panel last month that the private flights are not covered by Canada's licence law.

The case hinged on whether Atlantic City's top casino was operating an air service that was "publicly available."

The Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada ruled that because the Borgata's flights were private and not publicised, they did not qualify as commercial flights that had to be licensed by the Canadian government.

Associated Press notes that the case showcased the lengths to which casinos will go to accommodate their top gamblers. The Borgata owns and operates two British Aerospace Hawker jets to fly premium customers to and from the casino.

In documents submitted to the appeals panel, Corbo said the flights are a key ingredient in

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