New Jersey casinos, track forfeit $77K in money won by prohibited gamblers, many of them underage

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Five Atlantic City casinos and a horse racing track are forfeiting over $77,000 worth of money won by underage gamblers or those who had placed themselves on a list to be excluded from gambling activities.

New Jersey gambling regulators also fined DraftKings, the online sportsbook and casino platform, $7,500 for similar violations, and online gambling company Rush Street Interactive $2,000 for taking bets on unapproved events and taking pre-match bets on games that had already begun.

The forfeited money will go to the state to be used for programs to treat compulsive gambling, as well as on programs benefiting senior citizens and those with disabilities.

Most of the cases involved patrons who were either asked to provide identification when claiming a manual payout from slot machines or other games, and were either found to be underage or to have produced inadequate identification.

The casinos then withheld the patrons' winnings, placing them in an escrow account to give them time to prove they had gambled legally. That time period, at least six months, has now expired and the gamblers are considered to be prohibited patrons, according to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Other cases involved money won by people who had placed themselves on New Jersey's casino self-exclusion list, under which casinos are supposed to make sure they don't gamble, but then gambled anyway.

The forfeitures were ordered by the state during the last two weeks of October, but details were not released until Tuesday.

The largest such forfeitures came from Resorts, which turned over more than $51,000 for incidents dating back as far as 2020.

The Ocean Casino Resort forfeited over $7,500; Bally's forfeited over $5,600; Freehold Raceway forfeited over $4,400; the Golden Nugget forfeited over $4,200; and Harrah's forfeited nearly $900.

The forfeitures and fines represent a tiny portion of the gambling activity conducted by Atlantic City's nine casinos and the three horse racing tracks in New Jersey that accept sports bets. Collectively, they have won more than $4.2 billion from gamblers through the first nine months of this year.

But they do indicate ongoing enforcement of regulations by which all casinos and gambling operations must operate. Repeated violations could result in more serious disciplinary action.


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