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Six Atlantic City Casinos to be Fined $115,000 Collectively; Casinos Still Desire Removal of Regulators—Part I

5 January 2011 by admin

There are tough times for the brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City. Tourism is down and with that income is down as well; casinos are looking for any way to save money on their bottom lines. And the so-called latest and greatest idea that New Jersey lawmakers have thought of and are discussing has the casinos right behind them: remove the state casino regulators. Casinos say that removing these state regulators from their casino floors will save them money.

But this is coming after six casinos have been had $115,000 in fines levied against them by these state regulators. A bit coincidental to me—casinos being fined for misconduct in running their casinos and obeying state gambling laws; what better way to save money than to remove the regulators. Removing the regulators would have casinos policing themselves. Casinos are saying that removing the regulators would save them money; and it would—they would not have to pay the regulators and more than likely they would be paying a heck of a lot less in fines. No regulators to pay. No more fines. Saving money indeed.

So who were the six casinos and what where they fined for over the last year or so? Incidents leading fines range from malfunctioning alarms, not following laws in regard to tax forms to underage gambling.

The biggest offenses in this series of fines go to the casinos who were caught allowing underage gambling: the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, the Trump Plaza Hotel Casino and the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

A 20 year old was allowed to play forty five minutes of blackjack. I am sure the amount the Atlantic City Hilton won off the man did not cover the $15,000 fine doled out for allowing the young man to gamble in the first place. The Trump Plaza received a $20,000 fine for allowing a 19 year old to play four different casino games. As for the Trump Taj Mahal, they also had a $20,000 fine levied against them for allowing a 20 year old to play slots and drink. In total $55,000 of the fines were from underage gambling alone, something staff could have prevented had they properly IDed guests. State law in New Jersey has the legal age for gambling and alcohol consumption set at 21.

The casino with the largest fine is the Tropicana Casino and Resort. This Atlantic City mainstay was fined for failing to properly supervise a blackjack dealer. The dealer in question failed to collect chips from players who lost and to make the correct payouts to those who won. The dealer confessed to cheating and charges have been filed against him. It seems to me that the Tropicana could have saved money simply by putting their foot down right away on this dealer, and not allowing him to continually cheat for six months before stopping him. With twenty to thirty incidents there was plenty of evidence apparently.

Next up on the list of fined casinos comes Caesars Atlantic City who is being fined $10,000 for a malfunctioning alarm. In July of 2009 a silent alarm was tripped but failed to send the actual alarm to the casino’s security and surveillance departments. The result was a loss of $8,000 in chips. Once the state regulator determined that the likelihood of the thief being caught would have been greater had the alarm not failed—not to mention the safety of the staff and guests being put into jeopardy for the failed alarm—Caesars was handed their fine. So a $10,000 fine on top of an $8,000 chip loss plus the cost of fixing the alarm as well. It seems that this would have been less costly to have maintained the alarm in the first place.

Finally, bringing up the tail end of the list of Atlantic City casinos that make up the $115,000 of fines is the Trump Marina. The Trump Marina landed with a $10,000 fine for violations in their record keeping. Certain jackpot amounts requires a manual cash out in which the player must show ID and casino personal fill out tax forms for the jackpot. In New Jersey a slots jackpot of $1,200 or more need such a manual cash out. One man one five slots jackpots of $1,200 or more each. Rather than going to attend to the manual cash out himself, he sent his friend who showed casino staff his friend’s ID and then had the tax forms filled out in his friend’s name. Realizing belatedly what had happened, casino staff did locate the actual winner, had new tax forms filled out and the first set destroyed, but the damage had already been done. To my thinking, unless the winner and his friend were twins, a photo ID should have shown the casino personal that the person in front of them did not match the photo ID with the winner’s name on it.

Now with all of these occurrences, casinos think they should be allowed to self-police. This afternoon I will cover some of the responses by former New Jersey governors and the speculation on if Atlantic City casinos should be allowed to self-police themselves.

One Response to “Six Atlantic City Casinos to be Fined $115,000 Collectively; Casinos Still Desire Removal of Regulators—Part I”

  1. jennifer says:

    Great Article! I heard about this the other day and laughed out loud at the thought of the Jersey Casino policing themselves. Is no one watching Boardwalk Empire, LOL!