New Jersey Gambling Laws

March 18, 2013 · by rosenblumlawfirm · in

If you enjoy going to the casinos or playing your friendly poker game, then you know the thrill and excitement behind placing a bet and trying to beat the odds.  Even in a down economy, every year millions of people flock to the casinos and racetracks to put their money on the line in hopes to win big.  Legal gambling in the United States generates close to $100 billion dollars a year and continues to grow with high stakes Poker Tournaments being televised, online gaming websites and new casinos being built.

With origins that can be traced back to the stories of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon dividing the universe, gambling still remains well established and more widespread throughout the world regardless of a person’s social or economic background.   To make sure everyone plays by the same rules each State in America is free to regulate the industry as they seem fit.

New Jersey is home to many different types of gambling including the New Jersey State Lottery, horseracing, off-track betting and many hundreds of different games at New Jersey’s casinos in Atlantic City.  Atlantic City is the second largest gambling city behind Las Vegas and is home to twelve major Casinos, including the Borgata, Bally’s, Caesars, Trump Plaza and Harrah’s.  

The Legal Age To Gamble in New Jersey

Did you know that there are serious consequences to underage gamblingIt may seem like a pretty harmless crime but underage gambling carries a pretty severe punishment in New Jersey.

The age that someone can legally gamble varies from state to state.  The Casino Control Act (N.J.S.A. 5:12-119) prohibits anyone under the age of 21 to gamble at a New Jersey casino.  A minor is allowed to go to a casino however they are not allowed to be on the gambling floor or consume any alcohol.  Casinos and other gaming institutions are required to check identification regularly of anyone that may seem to be underage and will report anyone to the police for any violation.

Underage gambling is a disorderly persons offense that requires a six-month license suspension and fines from $500-$1000.  Disorderly person’s offenses will be a part of your criminal record.   Underage gambling is a strict liability offense and New Jersey will not allow for plea bargains on underage gambling charges.  Also, if a parent or person who has custody of someone who is gambling underage can also be charged with a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 5:12-119(c).

What If I Am Caught Using A Fake ID?

Many teenagers eagerly wait for the day they turn 21 and are legally allowed to get into a club, bar or casino and consume alcohol.  Unfortunately, many underage people make the poor decision of purchasing and using a fake ID, not realizing the heavy consequences involved.  If someone in New Jersey is caught using a fake ID they can be charged with a third degree crime, face fines up to $1000 and be sentenced up to four years in prison.

What Are Types Of Gambling Crimes In New Jersey?

There are many laws in New Jersey that outline what is legal and illegal when it comes to gambling.  Below are some of the important rules that you should aware of.  If you have any questions you should consult an attorney (see below).

  • Promoting Gambling – N.J.S.A. 2C:37-2,
  • Possession of Gambling Records – N.J.S.A. 2C:37-3
  • Underage Gambling – N.J.S.A. 5:12-119(c)
  • Use of Device to Obtain Advantage at Casino Game – N.J.S.A. 5:12-113.1
  • Unlawful Use of Bogus Chip & Other Cheating Devices – N.J.S.A. 5:12 – 114
  • Cheating Games & Devices in Casino – N.J.S.A. 5:12-115
  • Use of Marked Cards & Loaded Dice – N.J.S.A. 5:12-115(b) 

Is Playing A House Poker Game Or Fantasy Sports League Illegal?

Criminal charges are not given for your average friendly poker game or for managing a fantasy football team.  The law actually carves out distinctions between games of skill and games of pure chance.  Under the law, generally games that require certain levels of skill are legal such as poker and fantasy sports.

I know what you are thinking, how is fantasy sports a “game of skill”?  Well being able to know the strengths and weaknesses of players and matchups and being able to pick the right players and negotiate trades all fall under the category of a skilled game.  Moreover the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act of 2006 states that betting on fantasy or simulation sports games are legal.

I Was Charged With A Gambling Crime?

There is an enormous amount of information on gambling crimes which cannot be covered in one article.  If you or a loved one has been charged with a gambling crime, you should contact an attorney immediately to consult you and advise you of your rights.  Don’t gamble with your future, call The Rosenblum Law Firm today.