GVC and its land-based partner, Borgata, will pay more than $120,000 in fines for violations regarding self-excluded persons.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) fined the operators in two orders dated March 8.

Both orders emerged from the same collective incident.

Bwin.party, which was acquired by GVC, and Borgata accepted $41,759.49 in online wagers from 12 individuals who had placed themselves on the voluntary self-exclusion list.

More on the self-exclusion rule and Borgata’s missteps

A self-excluded person is a person who, for whatever reason (though it’s usually addiction), chooses to impose a permanent self-ban from casino facilities. That ban includes NJ online gambling.

Since these are the most vulnerable, state agencies recognize that they have a duty to protect these people from themselves. As such, the incident with Borgata did not go unnoticed.

The DGE filed a complaint on Dec. 20, 2018. Neither the self-excluded players nor Borgata objected to the DGE’s ruling.

In accordance with DGE rules (N.J.S.A. 5:12-71.3), the DGE ordered Borgata to forfeit the money back to the division.

In the second order, the DGE fined bwin.party $81,000.

The second strike of the month for Borgata

The forfeiture and fine come on the heels of another incident involving Borgata and its online casinos in New Jersey.

This month, the DGE finally settled a case of out-of-state play dating back to 2014.

Regulators had discovered that a player named Vinh Dao had managed to place wagers from a location in California. Since accessing online casinos across state lines is prohibited, Dao agreed to forfeit the balances of his New Jersey accounts.

Most of those funds resided with Borgata Casino Online. As part of the settlement, Borgata must return $2,000 to Dao and forfeit the remaining $79,539.24.

Caesars agreed to similar terms, although Dao had less money on the WSOP NJ site. Altogether, Dao lost over $92,000 in the settlement.

Needless to say, he also now enjoys prohibited status in the DGE’s books.

Breaking the gambling rules

While these two incidents are somewhat larger than normal, the Atlantic City-based Borgata is not alone in its breaking of DGE rules.

The DGE has well-documented its intent to keep online gambling in New Jersey as safe and secure as possible.

As such, incidents like these have happened before.

Here are three examples from the same week:

  • Hard Rock fined $1,000 for failing to detect that an underage patron had entered the premises.
  • GiG fined $2,000 because the company didn’t get social security numbers of registering players.
  • SG Digital fined $1,000 for not recognizing a person on the self-exclusion list.

Casino operators are big companies with lots of moving parts, and perfect compliance is often a high hurdle.

The DGE, as the regulatory arm of casino gambling in the state, keeps a close eye on all the operators.

For the above sites, these kinds of situations are more like speeding tickets. Unfortunately for Borgata, it seems they were exceeding the limit by quite a bit when the DGE pulled them over.

Bart Shirley

About

Bart Shirley is a writer who covers the NJ online gambling industry as well as a poker player from Houston, Texas. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M. In his spare time, Bart teaches math and business at Memorial High School in Houston.