FanDuel inks NHL streaming deal, gets fined for underage bettors


fanduel-fined-new-jersey-underage-sports-bettingSports betting operator FanDuel is now streaming National Hockey League games via its betting app, while New Jersey regulators have fined FanDuel for allowing underage patrons to place wagers.

On Monday, FanDuel announced that it reached a deal with the NHL and the league’s IMG Arena partner to livestream up to two games per day within the company’s betting app. The stream will only be available in states where FanDuel is licensed and will consist only of out-of-market games to avoid stepping on local broadcasters’ turf.

The deal marks yet another betting-friendly move by a major North American pro sports league since the US federal betting ban was struck down in 2018. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN that after “allowing our brand to be associated with sports betting companies, [the streaming deal] was not a far leap.”

The streams will only be available to FanDuel customers “who have a funded sportsbook account or placed a wager on the event.” It’s worth noting that this is the exact same criteria for viewing that got the UK media in such a frothy state after betting operators struck deals with IMG Arena to stream English Football Association Cup matches. Will America’s puritans follow suit? Watch this space.

Meanwhile, Tuesday saw the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) impose a civil penalty of $2k on FanDuel for its “failure to detect underage patrons” in its retail sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The first incident dates to May 2019, when a 19-year-old female was evicted from the Meadowlands’ Victory Lounge after her attempts to place a wager were rejected due to the age on her New Jersey driver’s license.

She then re-entered the building via a different entrance and attempted to place a wager using someone else’s Connecticut driver’s license but was spotted by a FanDuel supervisor, who refunded her $225 wager and escorted her out.

The DGE noted that its rules required FanDuel to confiscate the betting stake, which should have been forfeited to the DGE. The DGE further noted that FanDuel failed to notify its Security/Surveillance department of the incident.

The other incident occurred last August, when an underage male placed two wagers at a self-service betting kiosk in the Meadowlands’ Simulcast Sportsbook. FanDuel staff subsequently approached him, asked for ID, learned he was underage, voided his bets and confiscated the funds. The DGE said it learned of this incident by reviewing FanDuel’s surveillance log and incident report.

As a result of these incidents, FanDuel installed more age-related signage and video displays, restricted Simulcast room access to individuals aged 21 or older and assigned staff to monitor all kiosks and entrances.

The DGE warned FanDuel that “continued noncompliance, no matter how de minimis, regarding underage gambling may result in more formal regulatory action.”