New Jersey Online Gaming Operators That Try and Prevent Player Withdrawals to Face Penalties

Posted on: January 16, 2021, 12:02h. 

Last updated on: January 15, 2021, 02:18h.

Some online gaming operators in New Jersey have engaged in the practice of trying to prevent players from withdrawing their funds. The state’s top gaming regulator says such marketing schemes must stop.

New Jersey sports betting sportsbook
There are nearly two dozen mobile sportsbooks operating in New Jersey, one being FanDuel. The internet sports betting platform is partnered with the Meadowlands Racetrack, the facility’s lobby seen here during a promotional event during its 2018 rollout. (Image: Asbury Park Press)

In an advisory bulletin posted this week, David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), says gaming operators must facilitate withdrawal requests without interference. He says that while the law does not specify a certain time frame that an internet gaming withdrawal must be processed, “The rules do not countenance unnecessary delay.”

Rebuck says the DGE has received patron complaints regarding withdrawals from their iGaming accounts.

Several customers reported that after filing a withdrawal, the gaming operator tried to lure them into changing their mind with promotional credits. If a player canceled the withdrawal, free funds would be deposited into their account, the DGE explains.

Patrons who request withdrawals have the right to receive their funds as expeditiously as possible,” Rebuck declared. “Operators should clearly understand that the Division will take regulatory action and impose civil penalties whenever patrons are improperly encouraged or incentivized to rescind their withdrawal requests for the purpose of resuming gaming activity.”

Customer Complaints

Rebuck didn’t specify which online gaming and/or sportsbook operators allegedly employed such forbidden practices. The state gaming official said withdrawals can take considerable time, and that’s in the best interest of all involved. But the responses received by the agency led to the industry being put on notice.

Rebuck said some of the delays can be attributed to the need to investigate possible fraud, identity theft or money laundering. However, “The volume of complaints has led the Division to undertake a review of existing regulations and industry practices regarding withdrawals,” he said. Rebuck added that the review would ensure the patron’s right to access their funds.”

New Jersey has emerged as the richest sports betting state in the nation. Its Atlantic City casino sportsbooks, three horse racetrack betting locations, and mobile operators collectively took in more than $6 billion in wagers last year. That massive number is expected to be even larger in 2021, as sports were nearly nonexistent at times in 2020.

The budding sports betting market in the Garden State has licensed operators battling for market share. And every account matters, which is why some likely engaged in ploys to prevent bettors from cashing out.

Expanding Industry

New Jersey is one of only three states that has online slots and table games, interactive poker, and mobile sports betting. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are the other two.

There are currently 33 licensed online casino sites live in the Garden State. There are another 21 licensed mobile sportsbooks in operation.

That number will soon expand to 22 when PlayUp takes its first wager via the internet. The sportsbook platform is licensed in the state through its partnership with the Freehold Raceway.