This story should hit us all with a “Come on, you didn’t know this already?” slap across the head. But it came out this week that New Jersey state authorities have leveled a ban on Christine Strothers from operating a business for the next decade and fined her $15,500 for violating New Jersey’s boardwalk licensing law. Supposedly Strothers was operating a basketball boardwalk amusement game with overinflated balls (as much as 19 pounds per square inch, where manufacturer recommendations on PSI are nine at the most), making the balls “bounce erratically and generally act in a way unlike regular basketballs,” authorities claim. She also was displaying items at her booth that she wasn’t actually offering as prizes, but from their placement and type surely would seem to be.
“Every person who plays an amusement game in the State of New Jersey deserves a fair shot at winning a prize,” State Attorney General Matthew Platkin said Wednesday, “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.”
Unbeknownst to us living our lives, state authorities who regulate games of chance on the boardwalk (who knew there were such authorities?) had been on the look-out for overinflated basketballs since last year. (I know plenty of girls who are always on the look-out for overinflated balls at the Jersey shore…rimshot please.) But we can’t assume this is the only game of chance on the Boardwalk (and not just in New Jersey) that employs some sort of cheating, right? Nor should we assume that Strothers, is the only owner/operator displaying large plush items that were not set to be prizes.
Strothers held seven licenses in the Wildwood amusement circuit to run basketball and other games. Who knows if we will hear from her again and her big balls?