Rush Street fined $30k for underage NJ online gambling


new-jersey-fines-rush-street-underage-online-gamblingNew Jersey gambling regulators have fined Rush Street Interactive (RSI) the sum of $30k for allowing underage individuals to gamble online.

This week, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) published a January 7 ruling in which it imposed a $30k civil penalty on RSI for “permitting individuals under the age of twenty-one to wager online.” The DGE filed its complaint on June 28, 2018 but the fracas began in November 2016, two months after RSI launched its site in New Jersey’s regulated online market.

Some 13 individuals aged 18-20 were able to open accounts and place wagers with the site, but only three were able to make deposits, while the rest wagered with bonus funds. The site’s Know Your Customer process used flawed Date of Birth software which “allowed for a three-year variation” that allowed the 13 customers to evade detection until RSI noticed the flaw in January 2018.

SugarHouse is a Pennsylvania casino operated by RSI’s parent company, Rush Street Gaming. The company issued a statement saying responsible gaming is “a top priority” for the company and it took the incident “very seriously.” The company says it self-reported the “misconfiguration” to the DGE as soon as it was discovered and took “immediate action to correct and prevent recurrence.”

This is believed to be the first documented case of an underage individual managing to slip past New Jersey’s online gambling gatekeepers, but you won’t likely know that from the ‘won’t someone think of the children’ quotes the usual suspects will give the media once they catch wind. Ball’s in your court, Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling

The timing of the news is particularly unfortunate, given the federal Department of Justice just cast a pall across the entire US-licensed online industry by opining that the scope of the 1961 Wire Act extends beyond sports betting.

As if on cue, Wednesday brought an op-ed in The Hill from the reliably nutty John Kindt, who claimed the DOJ’s new opinion would “protect kids from gambling predators.”

PlaySugarHouse operates under the online permit granted to Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino. The Nugget’s sportsbook was also a recent visitor to the DGE’s doghouse, having been caught taking wagers on New Jersey-based college sports, which is agin’ the state’s betting rules. The Nugget paid a $2k fine to atone for its shortcomings.

Last December, the DGE confiscated some $390 in wagers that the Nugget’s book had taken on unspecified New Jersey college games in September. The games in question that led to this month’s $2k fine were also played last September, but it’s unclear whether this fine relates to the same wagers or represents a separate incident.