Gaming Innovation Group fined $25k for NJ geolocation failure


gaming-innovation-group-new-jersey-online-gambling-geolocation-fineOnline gambling technology firm Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has been fined $25k by New Jersey regulators for allowing an out-of-state gambler to wager online with a locally licensed operator.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) announced that it had issued a $25k civil penalty against the Malta-based, Swedish-listed GiG for permitting an individual to wager online from outside the state. GiG didn’t contest the claim, agreeing that there was sufficient legal and factual support for the recommended penalty.

The DGE’s official statement on the matter offered little in the way of details, except to say that it filed its geolocation complaint against GiG on December 12, 2018 and that the penalty was imposed on Tuesday.

The identity of the online gambling licensee went unmentioned, but GiG has to date signed only a single New Jersey online platform client, the Hard Rock Atlantic City casino. The Hard Rock’s online casino launched in June 2018, so the geolocation failure in question was relatively recent.

The DGE has issued similar geolocation penalties against GAN in 2016, PokerStars in 2017 and more recently against the Borgata and Caesars Interactive Entertainment New Jersey (although the latter geolocation failure actually dated back to February 2014). The first two instances resulted in similar size financial penalties while the Borgata/Caesars incident resulted in the forfeiture of over $90k in gambling winnings.

In other regulatory issues, the DGE imposed a $7,500 civil penalty on the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for accepting sports wagers on college sports involving New Jersey teams, in violation of local betting rules. Numerous other betting licensees have been dinged for similar violations over the past few months, almost all of which involved games played in the dying days of 2018.

The Borgata was also subject to five different forfeiture orders involving money confiscated by the casino from ‘theoretically prohibited persons.’ The sums involved totaled over $15k, significantly smaller amounts than the Borgata was ordered to forfeit in March for a variety of similar offenses, both land-based and online.