The lure of the lights and bells and whistles of an Atlantic City casino floor can be enticing for the over 21 crowd for sure. The only thing more certain is that the atmosphere is amusement-park like for the underage set.
You can’t blame your children for wanting to stay by your side as you play the slots. You may even be convinced to allow them to throw in a quarter or two. Don’t do it.
Law enforcement officials in New Jersey take the state’s gambling laws extremely seriously. If an underage person is found on the casino floor, they can be charged with a criminal offense and, if convicted, have a permanent criminal record. Even first-time offenders can face significant penalties.
N.J.S.A. 5:12-119 outlines the New Jersey Casino Control Act. Anyone under the legal drinking age in NJ, which is 21, may not set foot on a gambling floor. Of course, this means they may not place a bet, as well. Failure to abide by these laws may result in a underage gambling charge which is a disorderly persons offense. A conviction will go on the individual’s permanent record.
If the defendant has a driver’s license, it may be suspended for up to six months. Additionally, the judge can impose severe fines between $500 and $1,000. Also, parents of underage children charged with gambling can also face disorderly persons charges.
If your child has been charged with underage gambling, it’s imperative that you contact a skilled juvenile criminal defense lawyer. Atlantic City attorney John W. Tumelty will explain the charges and fight tirelessly to protect your child’s rights and limit penalties. Contact him today for a free consultation about your case.