Borgata (And GVC) Find Themselves In Hot Water With NJ Regulators Again

Borgata and GVC Holdings will pay more than $120,000 in fines for accepting almost $42K in NJ online gambling wagers from 12 self-excluded persons.

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.

Timing Makes A Difference When You Place Those March Madness Bets In NJ

Placing a bet early or later during March Madness can make a world of difference in the lines and odds you get at your favorite NJ online sportsbook.

In comedy, timing is, as they say, everything.

As it turns out, timing is pretty important for betting on March Madness, too.

For those unaware of this year’s timeframe, March Madness is set to kick off March 17 with Selection Sunday.

After that, the First Four games will occur on March 19-20 in Dayton, Ohio.

The winners of those four games will receive seedings in the tournament proper. The actual tournament games begin March 21.

So, in theory, New Jersey sports betting fans could start making their selections as early as Sunday evening.

Doing so does have some inherent advantages. However, waiting until the tournament is closer at hand carries some positives, too.

Reasons to bet early on March Madness

Better odds for favorites

The first reason a bettor might want to hurry to the teller window is if he or she wants to bet on favorites. Lines for the team expected to win will be more favorable early in the process.

The reason is quite simple. The more bettors wager on the favorite, the worse the odds will become for that side of the bet.

For instance, generally speaking, everyone is going to wager on the No. 1 seeds against the No. 16 seeds. Even with UMBC’s historic win over Virginia last year, it’s the first time that a No. 16 has won such a game.

Early lines are more prone to pricing mismatches

NJ sportsbooks are going to be rushing to try and get March Madness lines published as soon as they can.

With any kind of time pressure, the risk of a pricing mismatch escalates.

So, there may be opportunities to grab lines that are extra favorable in the early going. Even if the book changes them later, a savvy bettor can take advantage and lock in a more profitable position for themselves.

Early wagering may open the possibility of middling

The third reason to bet early correlates strongly with the first two reasons. A bet before the line moves significantly may open up an opportunity to bet the middle.

Middling means that a bettor uses shifting lines to wager on both the favorite and underdog. In some cases, this kind of betting could result in the player winning both bets for the same game.

For instance, imagine that a team is favored by 5 points at FanDuel Sportsbook. So, the bettor wagers that the team will win by more than that.

Then, the line shifts and the team is now a 10-point favorite. In theory, the bettor could then bet that the underdog team will cover.

In that scenario, the player would win both bets if the favorite wins by 6-9 points. The favorite exceeded its 5-point margin, but the underdog covered its final 10-point margin.

This zone is known as the middle — hence the name middling.

Reasons to bet later on March Madness

Better odds for underdogs

Betting later is advantageous for underdog bettors for the same exact reason that early betting favors favorite bettors. The increased action on the favorite will drive the line farther away from even.

That line movement translates into a widening of the underdog’s required margin for covering.

However, it takes some patience for this shift to occur, as the favorite bettors have to get their bets down in order to unbalance the sportsbook’s ledger.

More time to prepare

March Madness is, at its heart, a series of games between 64 different teams. Except for the most hardcore of fans, formulating opinions on each team is a difficult process.

A March Madness bracket, therefore, will always involve using incomplete information. However, a later betting timeframe will allow players to negate the magnitude of things that they don’t know.

That need for extra time is especially true for considering and judging mid-major and small conference teams. These squads likely haven’t received much national attention, so it can be difficult to judge whether they are a worthy team on the big stage.

Ability to react to lineup changes

Finally, a later bettor can make sure that they are betting on the same team that won its way into the conference. A reserved approach can give a player time to incorporate injury news or rumors of trouble into their predictions.

So, if Player A on a favorite blows out his knee during practice or succumbs to a broken shoe, the dynamic of the upcoming game may have radically shifted.

Waiting almost until game time means that there hopefully won’t be many surprises.

More March Madness betting tips

This year’s edition of March Madness should have more betting volume than in previous years.

The growth of legal sports betting across the US has opened opportunities for many millions of potential bettors. NJ gambling sites are doing their part to get in on the action.

However, the influx of new money does not mean that the winning formula changes. Remember to stick mostly with the favorites, and don’t be seduced by Cinderella teams until they string a few games together.

Good luck!

BetStars Links Up With The NBA In Latest Sports Betting Partnership

The NBA links up with The Stars Group to create an official data and marketing partnership. The deal is the first for BetStars NJ online sports betting.

The NBA has struck a deal with the Stars Group to create the latest partnership between a pro sports league and a gaming company.

The deal is the first of its kind to involve the Stars Group, the parent company of two NJ gambling sites.

As with the other sports betting partnerships that have come about, the Stars Group deal includes official data and marketing.

What’s in the NBA and BetStars deal

The Stars Group will gain the ability to use NBA logos and branding throughout its suite of digital offerings.

The NBA will promote the Stars Group on all of its relevant media. In turn, both PokerStars NJ and BetStars NJ will promote the NBA.

Matt Primeaux, the Stars Group senior vice president, said in the press release:

“We are excited to partner with the NBA as we continue to execute on our US strategy. This agreement enables us to use official NBA data and league marks, providing a better experience to our customers, while working with the NBA to protect the integrity of games.”

Both of the Stars Group’s brands conduct operations in New Jersey, and BetStars is in the process of licensing for Pennsylvania.

From Scott Kaufman-Ross, NBA’s head of fantasy and gaming:

“The Stars Group is an accomplished global online gaming leader and we are excited to work with them on their first U.S. sports league partnership. This dynamic partnership will be another way to create authentic fan engagement with league logos and official NBA betting data, while leveraging Stars’ global expertise to further optimize the fan experience.”

Strategic partnerships continue to be a corporate fad

The deal is the second gaming partnership for the NBA.

Earlier this year, the basketball league partnered with casino giant MGM Resorts in an arrangement similar to the Stars deal.

However, the drive to find strategic partnerships is by no means limited to the NBA, Stars or MGM. In fact, according to Legal Sports Report, there have been 13 such sports betting deals struck since May 2018.

MGM, for its part, has been the most active gaming company regarding finding hands to shake.

The casino titan needs only to partner with the NFL to count all four major sports leagues as allies, and the company already has one NFL team (the New York Jets) as an individual partner.

NBA and NJ sports betting

However, the NBA’s collaboration with these companies is particularly interesting given the leagues’ history with NJ sports betting.

Up until the PASPA decision in May, the pro basketball league was a staunch opponent of allowing sports betting to proceed. The NBA was one of the leagues that specifically fought New Jersey’s push to legalize sports wagering.

A recent study by the American Gaming Association (AGA) reported that the NBA and other sports leagues are likely to get a little revenue boost of $4.2 billion from legal sports betting as it expands in the U.S.

At BetStars NJ, It’s The Redskins (Not The Eagles) Getting All The Action

The Eagles will clash with the Redskins on Monday. For those who are planning to watch and bet on the game, BetStars NJ has a couple of special offers.

The Philadelphia Eagles are set to clash with the Washington Redskins on Monday.

For those who are planning to watch the NFL game, BetStars NJ has a couple of special offers.

These two promos are both parlay bets that rely, in part, on which team wins. The other part of the bet has to do with players’ performances.

Stars Stack at BetStars NJ

The two Stars Stack promotions are as follows:

  • Zach Ertz and Josh Adams both to score a TD/Eagles to win
  • Jordan Reed and Adrian Peterson both to score a TD/Redskins to win

So, it depends on how players see the game turning out. ESPN’s Football Power Index favors an Eagles win by a 2 to 1 margin. BetStars has the Eagles favored by 6.5 points, despite their inferior record.

All the NJ betting action on … the Redskins?

BetStars is also reporting 82 percent of its action on the game so far has been on the Redskins at +6.5. The rest is on Philly at -6.5.

The smart money says that even if the Eagles win, it probably won’t be by more than a touchdown.

Other betting options at BetStars

NFL 2 Minute Drill

Since these two teams are forecast to end the game within 7 points of each other, either one could come out on top. It’s possible that the victor’s identity won’t be revealed until the final 2 minutes of the game.

Thankfully, BetStars NJ has a promotion to ensure against a last-minute gut punch.

With the NFL 2 Minute Drill, BetStars will refund your bet up to $20 if your team is leading when the clock strikes 2 minutes to go but then loses.

The refund will come in the form of a free bet. It sucks to lose like that, but at least you won’t be lighter in the wallet.

TD Scorer

However, if the prospect of a nailbiter game raises the blood pressure too high, then perhaps a bet on certain individuals reaching paydirt would seem more appealing.

BetStars has that exact option with its TD Scorer bets.

These are wagers about which player will score the first touchdown, the last touchdown or a touchdown at any time.

For this game, the most popular players on each team to receive TD Scorer bets are the Eagles’ Ertz (31 percent) and the Redskins’ Peterson (42 percent).

So, even if the game itself might be too close to call, the playmakers themselves are probably easier to spot. Peterson and Ertz each have six touchdowns to their name this season and look poised to take their main yardage statistic above 1,000.

The main thing to remember, though, is that these wagers should make watching the game even more fun.

Remember to bet with fun in mind, and head on over to BetStars NJ Sportsbook before Monday to check it out.

Image credit: dean bertoncelj / Shutterstock.com

Monmouth ‘Takes An L’ In NJ Sports Betting Lawsuit Against Leagues, But Plans To Appeal

On Nov. 16, a US District Court ruled against Monmouth in its NJ sports betting suit against the major sports leagues. But the racetrack plans to appeal.

After months of unabated success and expansion, an NJ sports betting advocate has finally hit a roadblock.

On Nov. 16, US District Court Judge Michael Shipp ruled against Monmouth Park and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, in its suit against the major sports leagues.

The lawsuit stemmed from a 2014 injunction issued by the very same judge. The racetrack says it will appeal the judge’s ruling.

How the latest lawsuit came to be

New Jersey technically legalized sports betting in 2012.

Then-Gov. Chris Chris Christie authorized a bill that would allow sports betting at New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks.

Two years later, Monmouth Park was ready to open a sportsbook with partner William Hill.

However, the sports leagues sued for injunctive relief under PASPA, and Shipp issued a restraining order for the racetrack until the suit’s resolution.

That resolution only came with PASPA’s dismissal in May 2018. Monmouth Park made the argument that it had lost revenue during that period unnecessarily, and demanded that the leagues compensate it for the loss.

How much was Monmouth Park seeking?

The amount in question was no mere pittance either.

Extrapolating from the bond figure that the judge required from the leagues in the initial hearing period for the suit, the track figured its losses to be about $850,000 per week.

Applying that estimate to the number of weeks between the restraining order and PASPA’s dismissal causes the resulting damages to exceed $150 million.

So, understandably, the leagues chose to contest the suit. What followed was a war of words between the two sides during the initial few weeks.

But last week, the judge agreed with the leagues.

In his ruling, obtained by ESPN, the court ruled:

“The Court … finds NJTHA was not wrongfully enjoined. The Court, accordingly, finds good cause exists to deny NJTHA damages under the injunction bond.”

How NJ sports betting looks at Monmouth now

Since Monmouth opened its sportsbook in June, its land-based and online sports betting revenues have combined to earn about $7.46 million. While not the highest in the market, it is no small bit of change.

The online wagering revenue comes from Monmouth’s partnership with William Hill NJ. That online sportsbook opened in September.

So the state’s revenue numbers from the first four months of NJ sports betting tell a different story about the track’s revenues.

On a weekly basis, Monmouth is earning just under $373,000 per week on sports betting. Unfortunately, that figure is less than half Monmouth’s alleged weekly losses.

It remains to be seen what will happen as Monmouth appeal’s the court’s decision.

Chiefs May Be The Best Bet, But NJ Sports Betting Favors NY Giants At BetStars

According to Betstars NJ, the Kansas City Chiefs have covered the point spread 80% of the time this season. But still, NJ bettors favor the NY Giants.

For fans of NJ sports betting, there has been no better NFL team to choose this season than the Kansas City Chiefs.

According to data received from BetStars NJ, the Chiefs have covered the point spread 80 percent of the time this season.

The data tells a lot of interesting tales about betting on specific football teams. And even more so, it shows that at the end of the day, NJ bettors bet with their heart.

Let’s take a closer look at the BetStars NJ sports betting data.

The Chiefs are the prize in NJ sports betting

Unsurprisingly, the Chiefs currently tie for the best record in the entire league.

Kansas City shares a 9-1 record with the Los Angeles Rams, and the Chiefs’ only loss so far was a 3-point defeat against the New England Patriots.

Interestingly, the Rams are nowhere near the top of the list for covering the spread. The LA team is a woeful 4-6 against the predicted line.

The determining factor for a team’s performance against the spread is its overall margin of victory. Both the Chiefs and Rams have been winning, but the Rams’ victories have been much tighter affairs.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, also have the highest margin of victory against the spread. They are generally scoring 7.3 points more than the margin predicts.

A side note on the Saints and division leaders

The New Orleans Saints are the only other team with the same margin against the spread. The Saints are also the second-place team to cover, having played (and won) one fewer game than the Chiefs.

Four other teams are performing quite well against the spread and sport 6-3 records for covering. They are:

  • Tennessee Titans
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Washington Redskins

The ability to cover shares at least some correlation with overall success, and all but one of the teams mentioned sits atop its division. The exception is the 5-4 Tennessee Titans, who are 2nd in the AFC South behind the red-hot Houston Texans.

NFL ATS Records 2018 via BetStars NJ

Check out the complete list of NFL team data from BetStars NJ below:

TeamATS RecordCover %Margin of VictoryATS +/-% of total bets
Kansas City8-2-280%11.37.34.8%
New Orleans7-2-077.8%10.97.34.1%
Tennessee6-3-066.7%1.95.13.0%
Pittsburgh6-3-066.7%7.85.25.0%
Chicago6-3-066.7%10.46.11.4%
Washington6-3-066.7%0.10.92.5%
Arizona5-3-162.5%-11.2-5.32.4%
Minnesota5-3-162.5%1.9-1.33.5%
Seattle5-3-162.5%35.23.0%
Cleveland6-4-060%-4.5-0.52.7%
New England6-4-060%4.4-1.83.9%
Detroit5-4-055.6%-4.7-3.22.0%
LA Chargers5-4-055.6%62.22.3%
Carolina5-4-055.6%10.72.7%
Miami5-5-050%-5.7-1.72.1%
Indianapolis4-4-150%2.33.92.0%
Green Bay4-5-044.4%0.8-1.74.0%
Baltimore4-5-044.4%5.93.62.2%
Cincinnati4-5-044.4%-5.9-5.31.8%
Houston4-5-044.4%3.61.22.4%
Dallas4-5-044.4%1.11.84.6%
NY Giants4-5-044.4%-5.7-2.19.8%
Buffalo4-6-040%-11.4-22.6%
LA Rams4-6-040%10.42.82.1%
Jacksonville3-5-137.5%-4.3-62.3%
Denver3-5-137.5%-0.90.83.9%
Tampa Bay3-6-033.3%-6.6-4.32.4%
Philadelphia3-6-033.3%1.7-2.23.3%
Atlanta3-6-033.3%-1.1-3.12.1%
San Francisco3-7-030%-3.6-0.93.2%
NY Jets3-7-030%-4.6-2.63.9%
Oakland2-7-022.2%-13.9-10.22.2%

NJ bettors really like the NY Giants

One interesting quirk of the BetStars data is the discrepancy between the teams that have most often covered the spread and the teams that have received the most wagers.

If performance predicted the receipt of wagers, one might expect the Chiefs to be the most likely target of sports bettors.

However, at least in New Jersey, the biggest bloc of sports bets has been on the New York Giants.

Despite a 4-5 record against the spread and a woeful 2-7 win-loss record, New Jersey wagerers simply can’t avoid betting for the team from East Rutherford.

The men in blue and red have garnered 9.8 percent of all BetStars’ NFL bets. Most other teams receive less than half as many wagers, including the Chiefs, who’ve only commanded 4.8 percent.

The other local team, the New York Jets, whose 3-7 record against the spread is even worse than the Giants’ performance, still rank in the top 10 for betting activity, too.

So, in summary, New Jersey bettors are gravitating toward the hometown heroes more than any other. There’s something sweet about that, even if they’re losing money in the process.