|POINT PLEASANT BEACH – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced today that summer boardwalk compliance efforts have begun along New Jersey’s shore and initial inspections have discovered 20 locations that have allegedly violated state regulations governing their operation.
The Division launched its annual “Safe Summers” initiative by inspecting 55 stores and amusement game locations on boardwalks in Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant Beach to ensure they are complying New Jersey’s consumer protection laws and regulations.
“The sun is hot enough at the Jersey Shore. Visitors shouldn’t have to worry about getting burned on the Boardwalk too,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Our inspections are aimed at keeping the boardwalk safe and fair for consumers. Anyone playing a game a chance must have a fair chance at winning.”
Inspectors from the Division’s Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission (LGCCC) unit visited 42 locations with legalized amusement games and found that 11 of them were not in compliance with state regulations. At those 11 facilities, 29 separate violations – from overinflated basketballs to claw machines that couldn’t hold the weight of prizes - were written up and will be presented to Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission for possible action at the Commission’s next scheduled monthly meeting in July.
Inspectors from the Division’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) visited 13 boardwalk stores in Seaside Heights and found nine stores with alleged violations, including shops that had not posted their refund policy or did not clearly mark the prices of merchandise for sale.
“A visit to the boardwalk can be an expensive outing, especially for families. If people feel they are being ripped off instead of having fun and making memories, they might not come back,” said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “During this summer season, we will continue to hold game operators accountable for abiding by the regulations designed to promote a safe and enjoyable experience for those who live and vacation here.”
Since 2014, 127 actions have been taken against game operators. Among the 29 alleged violations announced today were:
- Crane claws which could not support the weight of the prizes
- Crane-claw game prizes packed too tightly or in inaccessible places
- Basketball games with over-inflated balls
- Prizes in arcades that did not have the point value needed to win displayed
Operators can be fined $250 for a first violation and $500 for a second and each subsequent violation. The Commission also has the power to revoke licenses.
In addition to inspecting for consumer protection violations, the Office does testing for amounts of lead in merchandise and looks for prohibited items for sale, such as novelty lighters.
Also joining in the recent inspections were the Ocean County Board of Health, the Ocean County Office of Weights and Measures, the state Office of Weights and Measures and Ocean County Consumer Affairs.
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