PokerStars fined in New Jersey for illegal bets
The site’s advance into sports gambling has a few miscues
PokerStars has come under fire in New Jersey for allowing a number of illegal bets after it launched its sports gambling operations in the Garden State. It has been fined by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) for allowing the bets – 217 in total – in one of the largest cases of illegal gambling related to sports action in the state since the activity was legalized a year ago.
In New Jersey, according to the state’s sports gambling laws, no bets are allowed on a “collegiate sport or athletic event that takes place in New Jersey or any individual sporting or athletic event in which any New Jersey college team directly participates regardless of where the event takes place.” However, the law didn’t stop PokerStars when it accepted 216 bets on a game last November between Rutgers and Eastern Michigan. Another game, between Monmouth University and the University of Pennsylvania at the end of the year, received one illegal bet.
PokerStars was ordered to pay $10,000 for the violations a couple of weeks ago and accepted the penalty without argument. According to a statement by the director of the DGE, David L. Rebuck, “PokerStars acknowledged that both incidents were in violation of N.J.S.A. [New Jersey Statues Annotated].”
The site asserts that it already voided all the wagers and refunded the bets prior to the issue being raised by the DGE. However, 217 is a big number, especially when 216 are on one particular game, and the wagers should have never been able to pass through the filters that are supposedly in place.