Regardless of in which state a person lives or plays, gambling is a highly regulated activity restricted only to adults. That said, state laws vary regarding the age at which a person may gamble as well as the penalties for underage gambling. If a person wishes to gamble in New Jersey, he or she should familiarize him or herself with state gaming laws.
Gambling refers to any activity that involves playing a game of chance for money or some other desired outcome. Gambling may involve poker, the slot machines or even a scratch-off ticket from the gas station. Regardless of the form of gambling, New Jersey law prohibits gambling for anyone under the age of 21.
Per The State of New Jersey, Department of Law & Public Safety, if law enforcement catches an underage person gambling, that person is guilty of a disorderly person offense, which is a criminal charge. A disorderly person conviction may result in a fine of between $500 and $1,000 and a driver’s license suspension. If the person is under the age of 17 at the time of arrest, and if he or she has yet to obtain his or her driver’s license, the state may postpone the issuance of that person’s license by six months.
If a parent, guardian or other person who has control or custody of the underage person allows a person under 21 years of age to gamble, that person may also receive a disorderly person charge. Casino employees may also receive a charge for failing to check a person’s driver’s license or for allowing an underage individual to bet.
According to the Legal Beagle, underage gamblers may also be guilty of other offenses. For instance, if an underage gambler uses a fake ID to place bets at a casino, the state may also charge him or her with forgery, identity theft or other crimes.