Did you hear about the boardwalk game operator in Wildwood and North Wildwood busted for rigged gaming? Attorney General Matthew Platkin says Christine Strothers is now stripped of a license for a decade and fined $15,000 for cheating. Read all the details here in Dino Flammia's report.

Basically authorities say Strothers was busted for overinflated basketballs in one location making the game tougher to win by sending a ball in crazy directions. In another there was a problem with large stuffed animals displayed to lure people in but were not actually offered up as prizes according to authorities.

Look, I'm not saying Platkin should look the other way. The law is the law. You're caught you pay the price. But don't we all go into these ridiculous games knowing full well they're probably using tricks to earn the house the advantage? Don't most of us look at the object of the boardwalk basketball hoops games not as simply making a basket but as making a basket even though it's made nearly impossible by the chicanery? I know I do.

Jenkinson's Boardwalk Game
Jenkinson's Boardwalk Game

Even when I was a kid I knew these games had tricks. Did anyone ever really shoot out the entire red star with those BB guns? Didn't we all know those darts had dulled tips and the balloons you had to break were a little under-inflated to make it harder?

Didn't we play anyway?

Come on. This is Jersey. We're cynical by the time we hit 3rd grade. We know everyone has an angle and things usually aren't what they seem.

Look at the cheap prizes we play for on a summer day at the boardwalk. A poorly made stuffed animal that probably cost the operator 58 cents and even if nothing is rigged you're paying $2 to win. Rigged or not we're losing. We know that.

But we put our money down just for the fun. For the challenge. Even if that challenge is made harder by trickery figuring out a work around for that trickery is the real game we're playing.

Photo by E. Vitka on Unsplash
Photo by E. Vitka on Unsplash

And the cheap prize worth less than what it cost to win it? It's not the value. It's the memory. It's looking at that ridiculous purple bear with the seams that burst open the day after you got it sitting next to the tv. So that when the drudgery of real life with all its own rigged chances wears you down you can catch a glimpse of it and remember how you and your girl laughed over something so silly as sledgehammering rubber frogs onto Lilly pads.

We're not playing boardwalk games to win valuable prizes. We're playing boardwalk games to win Jersey Shore memories, rigged or otherwise.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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