Accept in rare cases, people who are under the legal drinking age of 21 are not allowed in New Jersey casinos. There are exceptions for those who have to walk through a casino to get to another room or if they’re allowed to be there for some other legal reason. The same is true for “simulcasting facilities” like those where people watch and bet on horseraces.

So, what can happen if your child manages to get in and partake in gambling and/or drinking while they’re still underage? Don’t count on a casino employee to simply escort them out. They’re endangering the casino’s license and leaving employees open to criminal charges as well.

An underage person who illegally enters a casino can be charged with a disorderly persons offense. They can be fined between $500 and $1,000 and also lose their driver’s license for six months. If the teen hasn’t gotten their license yet, their eligibility can be postponed for that six-month period. Any casino employee who knowingly allows an underage person to remain in a casino can face the same charge.

What if a parent is with them?

Even if you’re fine with letting your teen pay the slots for a few minutes with a limited amount of money as long as you’re there to supervise, the law isn’t. Any parent, guardian or other adult “who has custody or control of a person under the age of 21” and allows them to gamble can be arrested for a disorderly persons offense.

If you and/or your son or daughter have been charged with this crime, it can have expensive consequences. It will also become part of your criminal record if you’re convicted. It’s wise to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.