Casinos naturally have a reputation for being wild places owing to their steady supply of gambling and alcohol, their lavish clubs and shows, and, of course, their often outlandish decors. While it's certainly true that things can become very rowdy at casinos at virtually any hour of the day, it would be a mistake to consider them as being some sort of lawless establishments.
Indeed, it may surprise people to learn that in addition to highly trained private security personnel, the State of New Jersey also maintains a specialized law enforcement presence at these establishments via an entity known as the Casino Gambling Bureau.
What is the Casino Gambling Bureau?
The Casino Gambling Bureau was formed back in 1988, and tasked with enforcing both the New Jersey Casino Control Act and the state's Code of Criminal Justice within Atlantic City's casinos.
Based in Atlantic City, it frequently accomplishes this mandate by working in close collaboration with both the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Casino Control Commission.
What exactly does the Bureau do on an everyday basis?
At any given time, troopers with the Casino Investigations Unit, the largest unit within the Bureau, are stationed at or dispatched to the city's seven major casinos or several smaller ones. Here, they investigate and enforce violations of both the Casino Control Act (underage gambling, cheating, possession of cheating devices, violations of the Exclusion Act, etc.) and the Code of Criminal Justice (disorderly conduct, defiant trespass, robbery, theft, prostitution, etc.).
How strong is CIU's presence in Atlantic City casinos?
Statistics show that CIU members, who can appear either uniformed or plain clothed, conduct an average of 1,500 investigations resulting in over 800 arrests, and issue upwards of 1,100 Hand Summons for Disorderly Persons Offenses.
In addition, CIU also makes an average of 500 general police assists to local, state and even federal agencies.
Who handles the prosecution of crimes enforced by the Bureau?
While the state maintains a specialized law enforcement presence at casinos, it has provides that prosecution of casino crimes should be handled by a specialized unit. Indeed, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, Casino Prosecutions Bureau handles these matters.
The purpose in sharing the foregoing information was not to cause alarm, but rather to impress upon people the reality that while it's certainly permissible to cut loose at a casino, there's also a very good chance that law enforcement will be watching.