The Stars Group Receives $10k Fine in NJ

The Stars Group Receives $10k Fine in NJ
The owner of BetStars and PokerStars, two prolific iGaming brands, has been fined a record-breaking penalty by gambling regulators in New Jersey. The Stars Group received the penalty in question for accepting bets on prohibited sports events, according to news reports on the incident.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has slapped the Canadian operator with a hefty $10,000 fine, which was delivered on April 12. The regulator cited two incidents of ‘failure to comply with state gaming regulations’ for the fine, which has come as the highest one to be imposed on a locally-licensed bookmaker since sports betting was legalized in the US last June.

217 Prohibited Bets Processed

The NJDGE discovered that the owner of PokerStars had accepted a total of 217 bets on prohibited sports events towards the end of 2018. On November 19 last year, The Stars Group’s New Jersey betting operation processed 216 wagers on a Rutgers University men’s basketball game against the Eastern Michigan University. Then, on December 31, the bookie also accepted a single wager on the game of Monmouth University vs. the University of Pennsylvania men’s college basketball team.

Under the state’s laws, licensed bookmakers may not accept bets on collegiate games that involve in-state teams or events that are held at venues within New Jersey. The state is the only one in the US to have adopted this law, despite multiple other regions having considered implementing it in mid-2018.

The first complaint against The Stars Group was filed with local regulators on December 28 last year, and a second one followed on January 30. The company voided all bets on the two aforementioned games and returned all funds to its punters before the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s April ruling.

Operator Apologizes for Its Error

In a statement regarding the matter, The Stars Group noted earlier this month that it had experienced a ‘manual gating error’ from its international games into the state, which had caused the regulatory breach. The operator’s statement also added that they have cooperated with state regulators and have learned from the problem in order to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The regulated sports betting market in New Jersey has been growing steadily since wagering options first became legally available in the region last year. NJ’s sportsbooks have handled more than $2 billion’s worth of cash bets since the market was liberated, the majority of which were placed through mobile betting apps.