Division Of Gaming Enforcement Ends Evolution Investigation, Finds No Wrongdoing

Written By David Danzis on February 23, 2024
Image of a judge's gavel for a story on the New Jersey DGE closing its investigation on online casino provider Evolution Gaming

New Jersey gambling regulators wrapped up an investigation of online casino software provider Evolution and found no evidence of alleged misconduct, according to a company press release.

The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement concluded its inquiry into allegations that Evolution, a live dealer partner for several NJ online casinos, violated US sanctions by operating in unauthorized international jurisdictions. The accusations originated from a 2021 report submitted to regulators by an “unidentified firm.”

Evolution’s press release states:

“The NJDGE found no evidence that Evolution sanctioned, promoted, permitted, or otherwise materially benefitted from its content offered by operators in any market that the NJDGE considers a prohibited jurisdiction.”

Evolution faces class-action lawsuit still

The mystery report delivered to NJ officials suggested the Swedish gaming company’s online products were available in places such as Syria, Iran and Sudan.

Evolution says in order for that to happen, a malicious third party would have to establish some high-tech workarounds. Currently, the company says, Evolution works with state regulators and operators to implement tools that block play from certain countries.

Evolution said in its press release that “its due diligence and compliance processes were sufficient,” adding that the DGE “supports the enhancements that Evolution has made. The enhancements did not relate to any jurisdictional violations.”

While the DGE dilemma is over, the company still faces a legal issue in the form of a class-action lawsuit, which alleges Evolution misled investors about regulatory compliance and growth potential.

According to the suit, brought on by investors who bought shares between February 2019 and October 2023, Evolution made untrue or misleading statements regarding growth potential, compliance and the effect of non-compliance on revenue.

Evolution among driving forces behind New Jersey’s growth

Among Evolution’s New Jersey partners are BetRivers Online Casino NJ, BetMGM Online Casino NJ and Caesars Palace Online Casino NJ. The company first appeared in NJ in 2018. It recently announced plans to open a live dealer studio at Tropicana Atlantic City, marking its third location in New Jersey.

The Garden State has permitted online casinos since 2013. It is one of seven states with legal online casinos.

Legal online gambling in NJ has grown significantly in recent years, spurred by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Online casinos generated more than $1.92 billion in revenue last year, nearly 16% higher than the previous annual record of $1.66 billion set in 2022.

According to data from state gambling regulators, online casinos in NJ set a monthly revenue record in Janaury 2024 with more than $183.3 million. The state collected nearly $27.5 million in taxes from that revenue in January.

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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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