Have you ever wondered whether those boardwalk games along the Jersey shore are actually winnable?

We've all seen the occasional person lugging around a gigantic teddy bear, but have YOU ever won one?

Getty Images
Getty Images

If you ever tried playing the game where you have to sink basketballs to win a prize, there's a good chance you didn't win, because you couldn't win.

In 2022, Christine Strothers was granted licenses to operate basketball and football skills games in Wildwood and North Wildwood.  During inspections over the same summer, authorities determined that the balls being used were allegedly over-inflated- some by as much as 3 times the manufacturer's specifications.  By doing this, the balls became erratic and made winning more difficult.

  “Every person who plays an amusement game in the State of New Jersey deserves a fair shot at winning a prize...The Jersey Shore is one of the biggest draws in the State for families looking for fun and recreation and we are making sure those families are not being scammed out of their hard-earned money.”

In addition to the balls, investigators discovered that prizes were allegedly improperly displayed.  In some cases, giant stuffed animals were displayed as prizes, but they weren't the actual prizes available to win (that would seem to answer my above question).

Another charge involved the allegedly improper process for giving the customer change at one of the games.  There are specific rules for how this should be handled, and investigators charge those rules weren't followed.

The Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission took the action of banning Christine Strothers for ten years.  During that period, she will not be permitted to hold an Amusement Games license in the state of New Jersey.  In addition, she was fined $15,500 for not adhering to state regulations.

“Investigators are always on the lookout to ensure a safe and fair experience for everyone who plays an amusement game on the boardwalk...Amusement game operators who aren’t playing by the rules spoil the fun for everyone and they will be held accountable.”

What makes this case a head-scratcher is the fact that the commission had sent out warnings that they'd be specifically scrutinizing the balls used in these games.

Sources: MSN.com, njoag.gov

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