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New Jersey Casinos Fined & Other Miscellaneous Year-End Tidbits

 Two Atlantic City casinos have been fined by the state of New Jersey for breaking sports betting regulations during college football season.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. — which operates Bally’s Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City —  and Golden Nugget Atlantic City were both hit with penalties by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement  for accepting wagers on games played by New Jersey colleges.

Caesars was fined $2,000 for bets on the Rutgers vs. Kansas football game held on Sept. 10. The company acknowledged the error and paid the fine in early December. The Golden Nugget forfeited $390 in gaming winnings owed to less than a dozen people who also bet on New Jersey college games.

The Garden State’s sports betting regulations prohibit bets on college teams from New Jersey or college games that take place at a stadium or ball field in the state.

“Prohibited sporting events were posted and wagers were placed on those events,” said Kerry Langan, spokesperson for the Division of Gaming Enforcement. “All improperly posted bets were voided and if the gamblers were known, those funds were returned to them.

“The casino licenses are required to have internal controls in place to prevent prohibited games from being posted for wagering,” Langan said. “When those controls fail, there are regulatory sanctions.”

In other sports betting news:

  •  One week after legislators in Michigan passed an online gambling bill, outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a set of bills that would have allowed online gambling, including sports betting, on websites operated by 3 Detroit and more than 20 tribal casinos. The bipartisan legislation would impose an 8 percent tax, but Snyder nixed the bills because, he concluded, money would be drawn away from the state lottery, which funds a state school aid fund. The bills are expected to be reintroduced when the new legislative session begins at the end of January and after Democrat Gretchen Whitmer is sworn in as governor. She expressed support for sports betting during her campaign.
  • DraftKings announced it reached a licensing agreement with Penn National Gaming to bring an online and mobile sports app to West Virginia. Penn National operates the state’s Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. There are three retail sportsbooks in West Virginia in operation. After regulatory approval, DraftKings will be the first online sportsbook operator in the Mountain State.
  • NBC registered several sports betting domain names in December including NBCSportsbook.com and NBCSportsSportsbook.com. They also registered non-.com sites including NBCSportsBet, NBCSportsbets, NBCSportsbook and NBCSportsBetting. It is unclear if NBC is planning to launch its own betting platform or if this was just a pre-emptive strike to reserve suitable domain names for future use. NBC did not comment.
  • In its annual round-up of “Bets That Would Have Made You Filthy Rich in 2018,” For the Win, part of USA Today, listed an $800 moneyline bet on University of Maryland-Balitimore County, the No. 16 seed in the NCAA basketball tournament. UMBC beat No. 1 seed Virginia 74-54. The bet paid $16,800.