One of the key mandates of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is to keep watch that the regulations of gambling in the state are not violated. In a recent move that highlighted this role, the authority slapped a fine of $1,000 to Rush Street Interactive and Kambi, its technology partner. This was occasioned by the fact that these two gambling industry operators failed to abide to gambling rules as per the NJ government.
The trouble started on May 14 when RSI through its playsugarhouse.com betting app offered soccer odds for the event that Manchester United’s forward Marcus Rashford would score a goal against the match’s opponent Liverpool. May 14 is coincidentally the anniversary for the landmark Supreme Court’s ruling that gave permission to all states of the US to legalize betting.
There were two issues that came up as a result of this odd availability; the game was in fact played on May 13 and Rashford did score a goal against Liverpool in the 68th minute. It appears that some NJ gambling customers noticed this inconsistency and went ahead to place a bet on a match that had already been played.
Since it was in all views a sure bet, 8 customers who would not be considered worthy gamblers in this case, “risked” a sum of $15,000 which they already knew the outcome. The mistake was identified and the betting operator, playsugarhouse.com cancelled the entire bet of that respective match. Nothing was paid out to players because the betting house voided the event.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement picked up what was going on and that is how the fine came to be. RSI and Kambi were found in violation for;
- Accepting money bets from players on a pre-game channel after the match had already been concluded.
- Failing to call off the market when the mistake was discovered
- Making void all the wagers they had accepted without approval from the division.
How could such a thing happen?
It is highly unlikely that a casino makes available a match that has already been played and the outcome known. The string of checks before an event makes it onto the lineup just will not allow for such a mess. Well, it does happen at time, like in the case of Kambi and RSI – the former picked it up almost immediately and the correct procedure to pulling it out of the schedule was initiated.
According to a report filed by the DGE, RSI failed to act of Kambi’s directive even though they had ample time to do so. On questioning why no one detected this mishap given the many levels of verification, the DGE was informed that this game listing was unlike the regular events.
The sports gambling sector is gradually evolving and sportsbooks pride in offering specific markets within a major event. It comes as no surprise therefore that the pre-game market under scrutiny here was formulated manually, and applied only to that game.
By failing to respond quickly to correct this blunder, it has necessitated that Kambi create a mandatory training program for its trading team. The compliance department is of the opinion that every entry that is made into the data feed must first go through two levels of approval. Reporting to the Associated Press, the spokesperson of the DGE, Lisa Johnson, insisted on compliance in matters of betting.
As soon as news got to them that one of their partners had left a betting market long enough to accept bets, the company presented as requested to the NJDGE and agreed to the penalty of $1,000. The people who had placed this bet would receive their wager money back to try their luck on other events.
Who else was penalized?
The RSI and Kambi case is not the first penalty case that has been handled by the DGE in the recent past. Just a few weeks ago, the state of New Jersey gambling regulators slapped a ban on Borgata after the casino had taken bets from 20 underage bettors. The total amount that the casino had to forfeit in the form of winnings accrued form the bets was $1,399.14.
The casino was also on the spot for failing to demand for adequate identification verification and allowing banned gamblers to place bets. In the second case that involved 117 gamblers, the casino lost $7,749.51.
FanDuel, too has been a victim of the fines; once docked $2,000 because the management authorized the inclusion of an event in a casino game without the proper license from the state regulator. The operator received another $2,000 penalty order to failure to follow due protocol when a self-excluded casino patron places a bet.
According to the regulations, such a patron must not receive any gambling related materials from the provider and their bets must be declined. In addition to the penalty, the company is also required to forfeit any earnings accrued from such bets. Self-exclusion is a huge concept in the gambling but many companies seem to overstep it – a fine of $8,000 was imposed on 888 Atlantic Ltd for enabling a bet from a self-excluded patron.
Even though the work of the New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement is not highlighted in the media all the time, the organization is working hard to ensure gambling compliance. Many operators have already fallen in the hands of the enforcer but only when they fail to abide by the regulations. Fines attract a certain level of commitment from providers because it means revenue loss to the guilty party. If an operator is keen on making it in the New Jersey market, such eventualities serve as lessons to be better. This applies even to those who have directly been affected; use the mistakes of other people to improve on your compliance.