International edition
February 26, 2021

Some patrons said they were offered bonus money to reverse a pending request

NJ regulator to fine sportsbooks encouraging customers to cancel withdrawals

NJ regulator to fine sportsbooks encouraging customers to cancel withdrawals
David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said that trying to talk customers out of withdrawing funds from their accounts violates numerous state rules.
United States | 01/19/2021

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement director said patrons who request withdrawals have the right to receive their funds as expeditiously as possible. He said any offer of bonus money would be considered “an aggravating factor” in any disciplinary action against a sportsbook.

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ew Jersey’s gambling regulator could fine sportsbooks that ask customers to cancel requests to cash out money from their accounts.

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said some sportsbooks have offered to give players cash bonuses if they cancel withdrawal requests, the Associated Press reports. He said the practice is ongoing and “unacceptable.”

In a letter posted Wednesday to the division’s website, Rebuck did not name the sportsbooks who have engaged in this practice, nor did he say how many complaints the division has received of such activity. But he wrote that trying to talk customers out of withdrawing funds from their accounts violates numerous state rules.

“Patrons who request withdrawals have the right to receive their funds as expeditiously as possible,” he wrote. “Operators should clearly understand that the Division will take regulatory action and impose civil penalties whenever patrons are improperly encouraged or incentivized to rescind their withdrawal requests for the purpose of resuming gaming activity.”

New Jersey has become the US leader in sports betting, taking more than $6 billion worth of such wagers last year. In December, its casinos and horse tracks took nearly $1 billion in sports bets, setting the latest in a string of national records for the most money wagered on sports in a single month.

Though its regulatory structure has served as a model for numerous other states as they adopted their own sports betting legislation, the head of the Stop Predatory Gambling organization on Friday accused the New Jersey attorney general’s office, which oversees the DGE, of “moral hypocrisy” for launching high-profile litigation against the opioid industry, while treating sportsbooks with much more leniency.

New Jersey regulations do not require withdrawals to be processed immediately; an unspecified amount of time can be taken to verify a customer’s identity and investigate any fraud or money laundering concerns. But as soon as those concerns have been laid to rest, the customer must be given his or her money without further delay, officials said.

“In the period between a withdrawal request and the actual release of funds to the customer, patrons reported contact from providers encouraging or enticing them to reverse the withdrawal request and wager the funds,” Rebuck wrote. “It has been reported by some patrons that they were even offered bonus money to reverse a pending withdrawal request.” He said such an offer of bonus money would be considered “an aggravating factor” in any disciplinary action against a sportsbook.

The UK Gambling Commission recently ordered its licensees to stop “reverse withdrawal options” until further notice out of concern over gamblers who may engage in excessive betting during coronavirus lockdowns.

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