Over $90,000 sitting in online gambling accounts in New Jersey will have to be forfeited after regulators in the state uncovered a strange connection between the money and its source. It appears that, somehow, a gambler from 3,000 miles away in California was able to gain access to the two online gambling sites, against federal regulations.
California resident Vinh Dao somehow managed to bypass geolocation technology employed by New Jersey online casino operators in order to participate in his favorite pastime, Associated Press reported. The activity has been traced back to February 2014, shortly after online gambling went live in New Jersey, and both the Borgata and Caesars Interactive are now going to have to turn over the funds to authorities.
Online gaming had only been offered in The Garden State for around three months when the enterprising Dao figured out how to beat the house and bypass the geolocation controls, according to reports. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are often used to mask someone’s true location, but advanced systems, like the one used in New Jersey, are supposed to incorporate other means of geo-detection, as well.
The state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has not indicated how much of the $90,000 were actual winnings held by Dao, only offering that the amount represented “completed gaming transactions theoretically owed [to Dao] by Marina District Development Company [MDDC], Borgata Casino Hotel, and Caesars Interactive Entertainment, New Jersey.”
The MDDC is the company that was created by MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming to own the Borgata. That entity died in 2016 when MGM bought out Boyd’s 50% stake in the organization. Now, Borgata operates its online gaming operations through a partnership with Party, a company previously owned by bwin (now GVC).
Dao and the two casinos have already been contacted by the DGE regarding the forfeiture, and reportedly did not put up any resistance. A total of $92,613.47 is apparently what was tallied and Dao is to be given $2,500 of that amount for cooperating with regulators in the case. The remaining funds will be divided between New Jersey’s problem gambling programs and a fund for senior citizens and the disabled.