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

5 January 2011 by admin

This morning I gave OCS readers the rundown of six brick and mortar casino in Atlantic City that have received fines that, when all added together, add up to $115,00. These offenses range from the underage gambling to poor paperwork—yes, it is possible to be punished for being lax in your paperwork.

But these casinos along with other in Atlantic City are on board to try to have state regulators removed from their casino floors. The idea is that doing away with the state regulators and turning to self-policing is that casinos can save money. True, with the economy suffering and tourism suffering as a result, I can understand the Atlantic City casinos wanting to cut costs where they can. But, in all honesty, these casinos need an outside form of policing as the things those six casinos were fined for could have been prevented; and I doubt that if self-policing had been in effect these casinos would have to pay the price of being negligent. Because really? If those casinos had been on top of their games, literally in some cases, they would not be paying out $115,000 to the state.

For example, three of the six casinos fined were fined for allowing underage gambling. One casino’s violation was caught with allowing a twenty year old to gamble for forty five minutes, while another must have gone on for a lot longer time period as the nineteen year old had time to play four different casino games. Now had casino staff taken the time to properly ID its guests the chances are high that the underage gambling would not have happened. Do I honestly believe that a self-policed casino would bring to light the fact that an underage gambling violation happened? No, I do not. There is enough corruption lurking around the edges of the casino world without opening up the opportunity for more violations and corruption to seep in, and the feeling is shared by former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean:

“Gambling is corrupt in a number of places. Not in New Jersey because this governor put in good solid regulations to make sure it did not happen in New Jersey. You start to ease those regulations, and we will have corruption, corrupt gambling like we do in so many other places. It is too big a pot of money and it is going to attract flies; and the worst kind of people, and so I think we ought to keep the regulations strong.”

And who is the New Jersey governor who put the current regulations in place? It was Brendan Byrne who says, “When I signed the law, I told the mob to stay out of Atlantic City. There is a big pile of money in Atlantic City and since Biblical times, where there is money there is corruption. And we have got to watch out for it. The regulations we have in place are working.”

And, yes, it seems they are working since casinos are being caught in the places they are being lax. Residents of New Jersey should be in favor of keeping these regulations in place because they—and their tourism—could pay the price. If Atlantic City were to become corrupt, it is unlikely that tourists will come there to gamble because who wants to feel unsafe and who wants to put their money on the line in a place known to be corrupt? No one really. And if such a reputation were to develop in Atlantic City and if tourism were to fall even more it is likely that New Jersey residents could see a rise in taxes to cover state costs as tourist go elsewhere or turn to online casinos—and no one likes to see increases in taxes. Unfortunately the bill to deregulate the casinos has already passed in the New Jersey state Senate.

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