For more than a year, the teenager lived the life of a high roller at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, buying tens of thousands of dollars worth of gambling chips, and earning more than $1,000 worth of free
merchandise and services for the level of his Blackjack and poker play.
But what the casino didn't know - and didn't ask about for more than a year - was that he was only 19, two years below the legal gambling age in Atlantic City.
For that reason, the state Casino Control Commission on Wednesday hit the Borgata with the largest fine it has ever levied for underage gambling: $105,000. ...All told, the commission handed out $231,000 in fines to three casinos for letting underage patrons gamble or drink on their premises.
This is an unbelievably lenient fine. Didn't anyone think to check this kid's ID before they lavished perk after perk on him? The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted a flack from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement as saying the youth had "extensive contact with Borgata employees." Either the workers didn't know or more likely didn't care that he was underaged.Studies have found that between 86% and 93% of youth had gambled at least once in their lives. Casinos draw young people like moths to a flame, and since penalties are so lenient there is little reason for them to take underaged gambling seriously.