Regulators Fine Sportsbook For Bets On NJ College Teams

The New Jersey Division of Gaming (DGE) has fined one NJ sports betting app for taking illegal wagers.

According to records released by the DGE, The Stars Group (TSG) — parent company of BetStars NJ — accepted multiple bets. The incidents in question involve the Rutgers and Monmouth men’s basketball teams.

Bets on New Jersey college sporting events are not permitted under NJ sports betting rules.

The first complaint dates back to about Dec. 28, 2018. The second was filed around Jan. 30 of this year.

TSG has voided all wagers and refunded customers prior to the ruling.

The case was settled on April 12. TSG was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

It’s not the first time a fine has been handed out for bets involving NJ college teams, but it is the first time it has happened with online wagers.

BetStars + games in question

According to the DGE report, the fines are related to a series of incidents dating back to the NCAA basketball regular season.

Here is a breakdown:

  • On Nov. 19, TSG accepted 216 wagers for a total of $2,756.89 on a prohibited sporting event between Eastern Michigan and Rutgers.
  • On Dec. 31,  a single wager was accepted on the game between Monmouth and Penn.

The BetStars NJ app operates in NJ via a land-based partnership with Resorts AC.

TSG  shared a statement with NJ Gambling Sites:

“We generally don’t comment on regulatory matters like these,  but we had a manual gating error from our international games into New Jersey. We cooperated with the DGE as we always do and have learned from the problem.

“We’re glad to have had a successful NCAA basketball season, with our players enjoying our Home of the Underdog campaigns that saw us put out the best odds in the market for all underdogs.”

Other reported NJ sports betting fines

The first year of NJ sports betting continues to run relatively smoothly.

In terms of the NJ college betting rule, there are two other reported incidents in which the DGE handed out fines.

Both cases date back to college football season.

Caesars was fined $2,000 for accepting illegal sports bets via its sportsbook app.

And NJ regulators slapped Golden Nugget with a $390 penalty. The company accepted multiple bets from unknown individuals on various NJ college football games.

Betting on NJ college athletic teams is permitted in neighboring Pennsylvania.

The recently completed March Madness betting season included Seton Hall and Fairleigh Dickinson. But NJ sportsbooks did not write bets on games involving either team.

And so far, there are no reported cases of games accidentally cracking through the system.

Any changes coming on college sports betting?

New Jersey remains unique among states with legal sports wagering. No other state has a similar ban on in-state games, although other states have considered such legislation.

NJ was actually considering making penalties stiffer for taking bets in violation of state law, as well.

The ban, in essence, keeps wagering on the NJ schools at offshore sportsbooks that operate outside of US law. But for now there appears to be no will to change that situation.

About the Author

Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.