"They got two names in there for the whole country and one of them is still Al Capone.”

That line, uttered by Joe Pesce’s character Nicky Santoro in the 1995 hit movie Casino, may have reflected a common view in the past toward casino exclusion lists – the lists maintained by gaming regulators in each jurisdiction of persons who are not permitted to enter casinos. 

An article in today’s Press of Atlantic City discusses the evolution of New Jersey’s exclusion list.  As the article notes, when the New Jersey exclusion list was established, it consisted mostly of organized crime figures or people who committed crimes within casinos, such as cheating and swindling.  Recently, however, New Jersey regulators have been adding more names to the exclusion list as part of law enforcement efforts to make Atlantic City safer.  Now, people are being placed on the exclusion list for reasons such as prostitution and defiant trespass.

As the article also notes, Pennsylvania’s exclusion list has a number of career criminals and cheaters or swindlers.  But, a problem that has arisen in Pennsylvania over the last few years has created a new category on the exclusion list – people who leave children in cars while they go into the casino.  Not only is this obviously dangerous, it is a crime, and also results in placement on Pennsylvania’s exclusion list.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has been paying significant attention to this problem, working with casino licensees to take measures to combat it.

The burden is on a casino to make sure that persons on the exclusion list do not enter the property.  Section 71 of the New Jersey Casino Control Act provides that the Division of Gaming Enforcement may sanction a casino licensee who knowingly fails to exclude or eject any person who is on the exclusion list.  Thus, careful attention to the growing exclusion list is important to all casino licensees and their employees.

Clearly, Nicky Santoro’s line was quite the understatement.