In what is, truthfully, and interesting aspect of New Jersey state law, the government made the decision to seize money tied to gambling winnings from Atlantic City casinos. In total, there was just shy of $70,000 seized from a variety of different circumstances. Basically, the money was seized by the state due to players either not being able to verify that they were at least 21 years of age or due to the players’ not having cashed the winnings in prior to leaving the casino’s premises.
If nothing else, this seizure does well to illustrate just how powerful the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement really is. Of the three casinos to which the seized winnings originated from, two are no longer in business but were still forced to pay the winnings to the state. These two casinos are the now defunct Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal.
The third casino is the still operational Tropicana, however the smallest amount of money was seized from this casino. The largest amount of unclaimed, seized winnings came from the Trump Taj Mahal, which closed during the early parts of this past October. The winnings total more than $66,000 and were seized because the individuals who had won the money were either not able to prove that they were 21 years old or because they simply left the casino without having attempted to claim their winnings. Though it was unspecified, the winnings could have been in the form of slot vouchers or other mediums. Regardless, they were never claimed.
Of that previously mentioned $66,000, the biggest individual winnings came from an $18,000 poker payout and a separate $10,000 poker payout. Though we are just speculating, it is highly likely that these two dollar amounts were to be given to persons who were under the legal gambling age of 21.
Perhaps the most interesting facet of this story is that, for some of the seized money, the state back-tracked more than 2 years to seize a slot jackpot from the Trump Plaza, which shut down in September of 2014.
The Tropicana was forced to give up less than $500 in total, but was still lumped into the rather large total seizure. After a long and arduous battle, the state agreed to go through with the seizure in November, though an actual announcement was not made until the first week of December, according to the Courier Post. If you, like many, are wondering where these forfeited funds are going to end up, you can rest-assured knowing that it is going to a good cause. The state announced that all of the aforementioned seized funds will be put towards state programs aimed at providing aid for senior citizens and citizens with disabilities. If nothing else, this story does well to prove that it does not pay to gamble at New Jersey casinos—or those in any other state—so long as you are underage. In addition to losing your winnings, you also run the risk of being subject to fines and, worst case scenario, jail time as well. , but only so long as it is done within the realm of the law.