Atlantic City, New Jersey is home to multiple casinos. People come from all over the country to gamble and play casino games in Atlantic City. While gambling and betting are common throughout the region, cheating is taken very seriously. New Jersey has several laws that make cheating in casinos a criminal offense. Anyone charged with such offenses should seek the assistance of an experienced attorney immediately. Read on to learn more about the laws against cheating in casinos in Atlantic City and how the Atlantic City cheating in casino lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych can help.
Is It Illegal to Cheat in a Casino in Atlantic City?
The act of cheating in a casino is not legally defined, however a commonsense approach may be most useful. Anything that violates the rules of fair play or otherwise deceives other players and the casino may be considered cheating – essentially, anything that makes the cheater more likely to win. It is absolutely illegal to cheat in a casino in Atlantic City. There are laws prohibiting casino patrons from cheating or swindling casino games. Cheating can include anything from card tricks and sleight of hand during a poker game to using loaded dice to using rigged gambling machines. If your actions violate a casino game’s rules and are intended to help you win more money, you are cheating and can be criminally charged.
Atlantic City takes charges of cheating in casinos very seriously because of how prevalent gambling and casino games are in this city. Many businesses rely on gambling as their primary revenue source and it is a significant part of the city’s economy. Anyone charged with cheating in an Atlantic City casino will likely face some stiff consequences.
The casinos will work with law enforcement and decide whether or not to press charges. Do not expect the casinos to show mercy and let you off with a warning. Casinos rely on gambling and betting to make money. People who cheat and swindle their way toward large winnings are, in a sense, stealing from the casinos.
Casinos will likely have their own security detain you until the police can arrive. They may or may not give you an opportunity to explain your actions and defend yourself against accusations of cheating. If you did not actually cheat and the casino is mistaken, it is crucial that you seek the services of a qualified Atlantic City casino crimes attorney.
How Are Charges for Cheating in a Casino Determined in Atlantic City?
The charges with swindling and cheating under N.J.S.A. § 5:12-113 for cheating in casinos in Atlantic City are based on a tiered system. Essentially, the more money you swindle out of the casino, the higher your charges will be. A defendant who swindled less than $200 will be charged with a disorderly persons offense. If you swindle at least $200 but less than $500, you may be charged with a fourth-degree crime. Swindling at least $500 but less than $75,000 will be charged as a third-degree crime. Finally, if you swindle an amount of $75,000 or more, you will be charged with a second-degree crime.
The degree of your charges may be determined in one of two ways. First, each instance of cheating or swindling may be charged as a separate offense. This means if you cheat at three different casino games, you can be charged with three separate counts of cheating. The degree of your charges will then depend on the amount of money you obtained as a result of your cheating. Second, the casino and law enforcement may opt to combine the total amount of money you swindled into one sum and charge you for a single count based on that number. This means you will have fewer but more serious charges.
Penalties for Cheating in a Casino in Atlantic City
The charges for cheating in an Atlantic City casino can range from a minor petty disorderly person offense to a very serious second-degree crime. Most of these charges are associated with prison terms and must be taken extremely seriously. A convicted defendant may also be made to pay steep fines and restore the money they swindled. Cheating at casino games may seem like a harmless offense to some, but each little swindle adds up, and pretty soon a casino has lost a very large sum of money.
A defendant will likely face some fines but no jail time for a petty disorderly offense of swindling less than $200. For the fourth-degree crime of swindling more than $200 but less than $500, a defendant may face up to 18 months in prison. For the third-degree crime of swindling at least $500 but less than $75,000, a defendant may be sentenced to 3 to 5 years in prison. Finally, the second-degree crime of swindling $75,000 or more, a defendant could be sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison.
Additionally, you will most likely be required to pay back the money you swindled from the casino and may also be required to pay additional money in fines. Being convicted of cheating in an Atlantic City casino can lead to some very expensive consequences. Casinos are very adept at spotting cheating. They will especially watch you if you are racking up large wins.
Contact Our Lawyer for Cheating in Casinos in Atlantic City
If you or someone you know has been charged with cheating in an Atlantic City casino, please contact our skilled Atlantic City casino chip theft attorney and legal team as soon as possible. We will fight your charges and defend your rights in a court of law. Reach out to our Atlantic City criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Call (609) 616-4956 or contact us online to schedule a free legal consultation.