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Atlantic City Casino Commission Keeps Control

21 June 2002

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Politicians, gaming executives and regulators defused an explosive change to the Casino Control Act late Wednesday afternoon, removing language that would have let casinos act first and receive permission second on matters involving money-handling, accounting and gaming security.

"The amendment is one of 31 in a sweeping casino-deregulation bill introduced by state Sen. William Gormley, R-Atlantic, in concert with gaming regulators and casino executives.

"…Initially, the bill would have allowed casinos to change any of their `internal controls' immediately after filing paperwork with the Casino Control Commission. The commission would then have had 30 days to approve or reject the casino's procedures.

"`This is the one that gave us pause. Our immediate thought was that we would not have the right to know what they were doing before they were doing it, and that could have implications on the gross revenue and everything else down the line,' said James Hurley, casino commission chairman.

"…Internal controls govern such practices as collecting money from gaming tables, transferring money to and from slot machines, storing dice and cards and counting revenue.

"…Elsewhere in the Gormley bill, anyone under age 21 caught gambling or drinking would face a fine of $500 to $1,000 and a six-month suspension of his or her driver's license. An adult who knowingly allows a minor in his or her care to gamble or drink would be subject to a disorderly persons offense.

"As it stands now, minors caught gambling are rarely punished while the host casino pays a big fine. Loretta Pickus, Trump Taj Mahal vice president of legal affairs and a critic of the current rules, said some minors have flaunted the situation.

"…Gamblers would be able to cash personal checks for up to $5,000 instead of $1,500, for gambling or nongambling purposes.

"…Other changes would clarify that 24-hour gambling is the norm and that casinos can advertise odds.

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