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New Jersey fines PokerStars over illegal sports betting

Latest PokerStars news

Latest PokerStars news

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has fined PokerStars $10,000 for accepting illegal wagers on college basketball games.

The sanctions were handed out earlier this month after the gambling operator was found to have taken bets on two fixtures that featured New Jersey university teams.

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PokerStars is reported to have approved 216 tickets totalling $2,756 on a game between Rutgers University and East Michigan University in November last year, along with a single wager on Monmouth University’s clash with University of Pennsylvania on December 31.

According to the state’s gambling code, it is illegal to bet on any “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”.

PokerStars’ parent company, the Stars Group, confessed to the transgressions while claiming to have voided and refunded all offending wagers before the games in question took place.

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This is not the first time a major US gambling operator has come under scrutiny for illicit wagering practices in the Garden State.

Caesars Entertainment, which runs sports betting branches out of several casinos in Atlantic City, was hit with a $2,000 penalty last December for taking bets on a game between Rutgers and University of Kansas due to an alleged technical fault.

The modest nature of these fines and the minimal impact they have on multi-billion-dollar corporations has not gone unnoticed in the halls of power.

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo is hoping to push through a bill that would significantly increase financial penalties for gambling operators who fall foul of the law.

Assembly Bill 4947 plans to raise the minimum fine to $20,000 and give the DGE the right to recommend sanctions of up to $100,000, although the Casino Control Commission would still have the final say on whether or not any penalty is issued.

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