NJ BetMGM fines 25K for betting on a banned basketball game

BetMGM spent $ 25,000 accidentally betting less than $ 100 on college basketball games in New Jersey

State law prohibits betting on college games in New Jersey, as well as any collegiate games played in New Jersey – even if they feature teams from other states. That same law prevents Jersey City-based St. Peter’s University fans from legally betting on their Cinderella team’s Sweet 16 game.

Other states have banned betting on state college teams, including New York, South Dakota, Virginia and Washington.

New Jersey voters had the opportunity to change the law last November, but were overwhelmingly defeated in a referendum that would allow such bets. The main ban has raised concerns among some lawmakers about maintaining the integrity of college athletics.

If New Jersey fans want to legally bet on the St. Peters game, they have to go out of state to do so, with options close to New York and Pennsylvania.

In documents released last week, gambling regulators in New Jersey have imposed fines on BetMGM, which is linked to Borgata Casino, for betting on a tournament game and a game at Rutgers University.

The State Department of Gaming Enforcement says BetMGM has taken two bets in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament match between Niagara University and Merist College on March 10, 2021, which will be played in Atlantic City the next day.

The department fined BetMGM, but noted that the company blamed its technology partner, Anten PLC, for starting a series of errors that resulted in the bets being wrongly offered. BetMGM told the Enforcement Division that Entain usually initiates the creation of a betting market, a process that involves checking where the game will be played, but failed to flag the game as a game in New Jersey.

Neither BetMGM nor Entain responded to requests for comment Tuesday and Wednesday, but BetMGM has entered into a settlement agreement with the state under which they will pay a 25,000 fine.

The Enforcement Division further stated that Antenna’s Trading Operations Division failed to detect the error, although it was necessary to manually verify the game’s location by looking at the event’s spreadsheets and where they should be played. The department further stated that the two agencies employed an automated venue checking system, but added that it was not used in this instance because a copy of the program was not working at the time.

A member of BetMGM’s trading team noticed the error 40 minutes after the bet was made, canceled it, and returned the money to their sponsors.

The Enforcement Division said Parle made an antenna employee working in Australia, but failed to recognize the Rutgers as a New Jersey team and thus ineligible to place bets.

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