Why New Jersey has hit Caesars Entertainment with a $50,000 fine
New Jersey is famed for its approach to gambling. Certainly, when you look at online casinos and sportsbooks, it was this state that embraced them and ensured that it stood to get the maximum benefit from them. In fact, New Jersey set the scene for other states to follow. It made it clear that gaming could be adequately controlled via the right legislation and that the tax revenue being generated made this a worthwhile exercise. A liberal approach such as this may have people thinking that New Jersey is blasé when it comes to all things gambling. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read more about the Caesars Entertainment $50k fine.
Caesars Entertainment provides a prime example of just how seriously the state of New Jersey takes its gambling legislation. Its success has, in part, been down to the fact that it can effectively police the sector and ensure that all is above board. When operators stray from the path, as Caesars Entertainment did, they feel the full force of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Caesars Entertainment $50k fine – An unusually hefty fine
The fine of $50,000 may only make a slight dent in the coffers of Caesars Entertainment, but this is still a huge fine and at a level that’s not usually expected. What did Caesars do to warrant such a fine and is it even reasonable?
Well, the thing is it appears that Caesars had already been offered a period of grace to get its house in order. It was May 2021 that Caesars self-reported the fact that it had seven employees on its books who had inactive casino employee registrations. Caesars stated that it would take the necessary steps to identify any other inactive registrations and ensure that the situation was put right.
By November 2021, this initial number of seven had risen to 49. Almost 50 employees had worked for several years, across a number of departments, all without the needed casino employee registrations. On top of this, it was also found that Caesar’s record-keeping was on the lax side. It had failed to keep accurate records of its employees and this no doubt had a huge impact on the fact that so many were able to work without being registered.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, it’s fair to say, was less than impressed. With numerous violations of the Casino Control Act, the $50,000 fine seems a proportionate punishment given the scale of the problems identified.
How could Caesars allow this to happen?
Had a new operator been granted a license and then slipped up there’s a good chance that there would be a greater level of understanding. While such actions can never be condoned, there is a degree of acceptance that mistakes happen. The problem here is that Caesars Entertainment is far from being a new operator.
Any operator in Atlantic City knows that they face a string of regulations that need to be complied with. This has been the case since 1978. It was 1979 was Caesars opened its first of three casinos in Atlantic City so it’s had well over 40 years to get itself gemmed up on what’s required. The only explanation here can be a degree of sloppiness and the hope would be that someone within the organisation will be held accountable.
A spate of bad luck or incompetence – Caesars Entertainment $50k fine
If this was the first issue faced by Caesars you may be able to argue that it had been somewhat unlucky. Maybe its processes went slightly wrong or someone made a basic mistake. However, when you look at the fact that other violations have since come to light, there is a need to ask more questions.
Caesars itself must be keen to know what is behind these failings. Surely it would be working non-stop to put things right. Firstly, it won’t want to face more fines but more importantly, it won’t want to risk its license.
So, what else has Caesars got wrong of late? Let’s take a look:
Lack of registration
Back in February 2021, Caesars was self-reporting again. This time it related to those employed by the casino who were working with alcoholic drinks. This time around 60 employees were working without being registered. The self-reporting may have been a saving grace for Caesars this time around: having resolved the issue by the end of March, it was decided that no further action needed to be taken. However, it was made clear at this point that should there be future violations, these would be dealt with appropriately and that Caesars may not be so lucky next time around.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement has also ordered Caesars to forfeit a total of $22,666.30 in gaming winnings. These winnings were never paid out to clients of the casino who had failed to produce ID or who were prohibited from gaming. There were 44 such clients and Caesars decided to withhold these winnings. Caesars was happy to forfeit all of the said winnings except for those from two clients that it contested.
The Caesars Entertainment $50k fine is a lesson for all
What has happened with Caesars should serve as a lesson to all operators in New Jersey. No matter how big you may be or how long-established you are, there is no getting away from the fact that you’re governed by the same legislation as everyone else.
While Caesars is probably less than thrilled with its $50,000 fine, the truth is that this is good news for the industry as a whole. When other states are looking at land-based or online casinos, there are often objections as there is a belief that it can’t be policed. The example set by New Jersey shows that, with the right systems in place, gambling doesn’t bring any issues to a state. These are controlled and dealt with before they are able to cause any harm. New Jersey is a great advertisement for gambling by showing how it should be managed.