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Uston v. Resorts International Hotel, Inc

    Citation. 89 N.J. 163, 445 A.2d 370, 1982 N.J.

    Brief Fact Summary. A man had a strategy for playing blackjack that helped him win. A hotel has attempted to exclude him from the blackjack tables.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. A person has a right of reasonable access to property open to the public as long as the person does not threaten the security of the premises and its occupants and his actions do not disrupt the regular and essential operations of the premises.


    Facts. Uston has a card counting strategy that increases his odds of winning at blackjack. The Resort has excluded him from playing because of his strategy. Uston contends that there is no common law or statutory right to exclude him because of his blackjack strategy.

    Issue. Does an amusement place owner have the absolute right to exclude any unwanted person from the premises?

    Held. No.
    When property owners open their premises to the general public in the pursuit of their own property interests, they have no right to exclude people unreasonably. Property owners have no legitimate interest in unreasonably excluding particular members of the public when they open their premises for public use.
    Sometimes, proprietors have a duty to remove disorderly or dangerous people from the premises. Casinos may bar the disorderly, the intoxicated, and the repetitive petty offender. If someone is not causing any of these types of distractions, then they have the right of reasonable access to the blackjack tables.

    Discussion. The right of reasonable access extends to all businesses open to the public. There is a duty to serve members of the public without discrimination unless there is a good reason not to provide services to an individual.

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