The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement occasionally fines casinos for improperly collected winnings from minors, but this week’s announcement that four of the state’s casinos were fined a total of five times for violations dating back to 2019 was nevertheless eye-opening.
Tropicana was by far the biggest offender, with a forfeiture of $59,860.30 stemming from 40 gamblers on Nov. 10, 2021, who were found to have “failed to produce adequate identification, abandoned certain assets, or were otherwise prohibited from engaging in gaming activity.”
Next up was Harrah’s, which on Oct. 9, 2019, was initially found to be liable for forfeiture of $6,857 from seven gamblers who failed to provide adequate ID. But one of the seven subsequently produced proper identification, trimming the penalty to $4,622.
Caesars had a pair of fines — $1,632.59 from a Feb. 22, 2022, violation involving seven gamblers, and another $901.02 forfeited from Nov. 10, 2021, in a case involving 20 young risk-takers. Finally, Hard Rock forfeited $1,632.59 from a Feb. 3, 2022, violation involving “30 underage individuals.”
Who is most often guilty in Atlantic City?
First, the good news: After a deep dive by NJ Online Gambling on all underage violations dating back to the start of 2020, it was found that Golden Nugget, one of the three casinos in Atlantic City’s Marina District, did not receive a single violation from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
The same can’t be said for the other eight casinos.
While Tropicana took the biggest hit in the latest of the twice-a-month announcements by DGE, it only had two previous violations in two-plus years, totaling $15,945.35. The biggest offender, with 11 offenses ranging from $276.33 to $28,624.79, was industry revenue leader Borgata, with a grand total of $95,803.91.
The two recent offenses by Caesars, meanwhile, were no aberrations. The venerable Boardwalk property has had eight other violations in the past two-plus years, ranging from $362.92 to $15,419.89. The overall total was $57,073.87.
Bally’s was dinged by DGE five times, from a paltry $58.75 to a more substantial $23,286.11. Its final number came to $34,319.04.
Harrah’s had three total violations, costing the casino $18,861.11. And for Hard Rock, a $10,000 forfeiture was one of four penalties totaling $14,947.70.
Ocean Casino had only one violation, but it was for $10,659.81. Resorts — the first Atlantic City casino, having opened in 1978 — fared better at a lone $4,105 violation.
The NJ DGE has also occasionally fined online casino operators, with the largest hit since the start of 2020 being the $20,000.01 forfeited by Rush Street Interactive. BetMGM, meanwhile, had a pair of violations for a total of $4,528.01.