New Jersey Lawmakers Introduce New Responsible Gambling Bills


  • S2272 focuses on creating a gambling treatment diversion court.
  • S1242 handles underage gambling punishments.
  • Each measure is under scrutiny by lawmakers.

With the new year in full swing, lawmakers across the United States are introducing new measures. In New Jersey, lawmakers are focusing yet again on the state’s gaming industry. This time around, lawmakers are looking to boost responsible gambling measures for New Jersey casinos. Such changes include creating a gambling addiction court and how to handle incidents of underage gambling.

Gambling Addiction Treatment Courts Reintroduced 

S2272 is a familiar bill that was reintroduced in 2024 by Senate President Nicholas Scutari. The measure would create a gambling treatment diversion court to help in cases involving gambling-related crimes. The idea is similar to drug courts in New Jersey, which are now known as recovery courts. The goal is to prioritize treatment rather than jail time. 

With this measure, if an individual commits a crime that is related to gambling and they are convicted, the judge can choose between a jail sentence or gambling diversion treatment. If the bill can pass into law, New Jersey would offer a court similar to that of states like Ohio and Nevada.  

Scutari reiterates that the expansion of gambling in New Jersey, including online casinos and sports betting, creates unrestrained opportunities for a person with a gambling problem or disordered gambling to exhibit destructive behavior.  

This measure is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be discussed later this year. It will be interesting to see how the legislation evolves and if it will be passed into law.  

Responsible Gambling Education for Underage Individuals  

Another bill is on the table in New Jersey that involves casinos and underage gamblers. In New Jersey, players must be 21 or older to visit a physical casino like Caesars or Borgata. Casinos are supposed to check the ID of every patron and only let those who are 21 or older inside. While this is the case, there are times when minors slip through the cracks.

If a minor gambles at an Atlantic City casino, they are subject to a $500-$1,000 fine. The casinos are also fined for failing to meet the state’s gambling rules and regulations criteria. With S1242, the judge in an underage gambler case could subject the individual to a fine but also require the individual to attend education programs and prevention plans.

This measure is in the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee awaiting further consideration.

Additional measures are being taken to protect young people via an education bill. Assemblywoman Garnet Hall is pushing for legislation to require high schools in New Jersey to teach children about gambling education. The health class curriculum could be changed to include gambling addiction discussions.

The bill would see children taught more about the dangers of gambling addiction, as well as the personal finance and asset risk, and how probability and predictability vary.

Prevention is Key 

The main focus of the measures above is to protect the public and provide assistance for gambling issues. It's important to point out that casinos already have programs in place for self-exclusion or support for a potential gambling addiction. Players can take breaks for an extended period of time and reach out to service groups for counseling or programs.

Rules and regulations are in place for a reason, but they only go so far to protect the public. It seems the court-involved measures would be a great opportunity to offer more than just a simple punishment for those who break the law. Many gambling-related cases involve those with an addiction. Providing support can help with any potential criminal behavior in the future and hopefully help others see there is a way out.

We shall see in the coming weeks if the legislation moves forward to a full vote or if the bills will be shot down before they even begin.

Having started in 2005 as an online writer, Sadonna has focused on the online gambling industry, with a keen knowledge of various subjects. Sadonna has followed the growing US-based gambling industry for decades, covering all the legal changes in the nation as well as information on land-based and online casinos. She enjoys updating fellow gamblers on new games, casino bonuses, and additional information for premium gaming services. In her spare time, Sadonna loves spending time with her family and singing on Smule. Sadonna hopes to continue working in the online gambling industry and building quality articles for players to learn more about the US market.