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AG Says NJ Boardwalk Games Were Rigged

AG Says NJ Boardwalk Games Were Rigged

[NOTE: One thing to keep in mind is that all of the shops, arcades, games, and restaurants are owned individually. This report is only in regard to Christine Strothers. Not all the games on the Wildwood Boardwalk.]

On February 15, 2023, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced that Christine Strothers has been banned from holding Amusement Games Licenses (“AGLs”) for ten years.

The Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission (the “Commission” or “LGCCC”) made this decision after Strothers violated the Amusement Games Licensing Law and accompanying regulations. Along with the ban, Strothers was fined $15,500. She operated amusement games at multiple locations along the boardwalk in Wildwood and North Wildwood, NJ.

AG Says NJ Boardwalk Games Were Rigged

AG Says NJ Boardwalk Games Were Rigged

Strothers received seven AGLs in the spring of 2022 to operate basketball and quarterback challenge games at various stores and businesses along the boardwalk in Wildwood and North Wildwood, NJ.

During the summer of 2022, investigators for the Commission inspected each game and discovered several basketballs used for the basketball games inflated beyond the manufacturer’s specifications. Some were inflated by almost three times the recommended pounds per square inch (“PSI”) of air.

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Operators are required to follow the recommended PSI because overinflated balls can bounce erratically when they hit the rim or backboard of the hoop, giving an unfair advantage to the player.

The Commission has been focusing on the issue of over-inflated basketballs recently. Investigators for the Commission sent letters in August 2021 to basketball game operators to inform them that the Commission would be conducting inspections and issuing violations if the PSI was not correct.

In addition to the over-inflated basketballs, the Commission discovered that Strothers violated the regulations related to the display of prizes. One of Strothers’s games had large plush animals in the stand that could not be won, and on another occasion, the operator did not display the prizes that could be won

In another instance, an investigator was not immediately given change after paying $20 to play a quarterback challenge game that cost $10, as required by N.J.A.C. 13:3-3.4.

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According to Attorney General Platkin, “Every person who plays an amusement game in the State of New Jersey deserves a fair shot at winning a prize.

The Jersey Shore is one of the biggest draws in the State for families looking for fun and recreation and we are making sure those families are not being scammed out of their hard-earned money.”

Investigators for the Commission conduct inspections along boardwalks, in amusement parks, and other entertainment venues, visiting every one of the State’s amusement game licensees at least once a year. In 2022 alone, LGCCC investigators conducted 7,000 inspections resulting in approximately $35,000 in penalties and violations.

Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, Cari Fais, stated, “Investigators are always on the lookout to ensure a safe and fair experience for everyone who plays an amusement game on the boardwalk. Amusement game operators who aren’t playing by the rules spoil the fun for everyone, and they will be held accountable.”

Consumers who believe that an amusement game is being operated in violation of the Amusement Games Licensing Law are encouraged to file an online complaint.

Consumers can also call 1-800-242-5846 to receive a complaint form by mail. It is important to report any violations to ensure that everyone has a fair and enjoyable experience when playing amusement games.

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