The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) issued documentation outlining infractions that sent several New Jersey online gambling operators to the proverbial dog house.
Five companies received penalties for regulatory infractions:
- SG Digital
- iGaming Cloud
- William Hill Sportsbook
The eight penalties ranged from $1,000 and $100,000 for a total of $150,000 for operating unapproved games, losing data and allowing self-excluded customers to place bets.
Lesson learned: Same game, new version, get tested
The largest fine ($100,000) went to SG Digital for offering three online games that were different versions of the original game approved by the DGE.
New Jersey online casino gambling regulations state online games must be identical to the version tested, and any changes to the software must be sent to regulators three days before the game is offered.
SG Digital discovered the error during a routine internal audit. According to the Press of Atlantic City, the games were accessible from every online casino platform on Jan. 29.
The games were:
- Zeus III
- Epic Monopoly II
- 888 Fortunes
The company iGaming Cloud also deployed an unapproved version of a casino game for a fine of $2,000.
Where’s the data?
On top of the six-figure fine, SG Digital is in hot water for failure to supply documentation to regulators.
It received an additional $10,000 for several violations because it did not provide some of the necessary information to support its qualifications to operate in New Jersey.
Lost slot tournament data earned iGaming Cloud an additional fine of $2,000. A system crash is responsible for the lost data. And while the company fixed the error, it failed to notify regulators of the situation.
PokerStars self-reported the loss of hand histories for 202 customers. The missing hand histories occurred during a two-hour window on April 30, and the company was unable to recover them.
Keep out: Self-excluded customers not welcome
Self-exclusion programs are just one resource available to address problem gambling in New Jersey. Failure to monitor customers to remain in compliance lead to fines at two companies for $33,500.
William Hill Sportsbook allowed 16 customers on the self-exclusion list to place bets. As a result, the online sports betting app received a fine of $26,500.
Also, iGaming Cloud received yet another fine of $7,000 for allowing customers on the self-exclusion list to create online sports betting accounts and place bets. That brought iGaming Cloud’s total penalties to $11,000.
As the regulatory body for the New Jersey online gambling industry, the DGE is responsible for more than just monitoring online casinos and sportsbooks.
It is also responsible for providing consumer protections. That is why there are audits and other compliance mechanisms in place. Obviously, there are consequences when a casino company is not in compliance.
DGE warns about promoting illegal offshore gambling sites
Keeping customers safe goes beyond monitoring legal operations, though. The DGE also ensures all online casino companies operating in the state are licensed.
Recently, it warned advertisers to stop promoting unregulated gambling sites.
It isn’t the first time the DGE has gone on record regarding the use of odds from unregulated sites or advertising for illegal gambling sites in New Jersey.
In February, OddsShark, an affiliate that promoted offshore sportsbooks, became inaccessible to New Jersey residents for its advertising practices.
Then in August, two additional sites, BetOnline and Bookmaker, left the New Jersey market when they faced regulatory action due to their unregulated site affiliations.
Companies in the gambling industry have a responsibility to promote legal and regulated sportsbooks in New Jersey and throughout the country.
David Rebuck, the director of the DGE, shared the agency’s concern about access to illegal gambling sites and provided advice for companies wanting to do business in New Jersey to Gambling News.
“DGE is committed to working with news and media outlets to educate them about unauthorized gaming websites.
A news or media outlet that has been in contact with a website offering unauthorized wagering is encouraged to contact DGE immediately, regardless of whether the outlet is presently licensed or registered with DGE, to obtain more information on the standards for sports wagering licensure in New Jersey.”
As sports betting continues to grow, it is good to know the DGE has its eyes wide open.