AP NEWS

New Jersey eyes stiffer penalties for prohibited sports bets

March 7, 2019

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey lawmakers want to increase the penalties on casinos and sports books that take bets on prohibited events including games involving college teams from the state.

A bill that cleared an Assembly panel Thursday would impose fines at least 10 times higher than one handed out last year for prohibited bets on college football teams from New Jersey.

It calls for fines of $20,000 to $100,000 for violations of the law. They also would have to pay an additional fine equal to the total amount of prohibited bets they accepted and could have their sports betting license suspended for 10 days.

The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, a northern New Jersey Democrat and former Atlantic City casino executive.

“We must provide the proper and necessary oversight to ensure that our state’s holders of sports wagering licenses abide by the laws set forth,” he said. “We want New Jersey’s sports and race gaming industry to succeed, and in order for us to do this, we must guarantee that everyone plays fairly by the rules, and that if people break those rules, they are punished accordingly.”

The Golden Nugget and Caesars Entertainment were penalized last fall for taking such bets, with Caesars fined $2,000 for taking bets on a Rutgers-Kansas football game in September, and Golden Nugget forfeiting $390 in bets that it took on numerous college games involving New Jersey teams.

State law prohibits wagers on college teams from New Jersey, regardless of where the game is played, or on college games that take place within the state.

Other prohibited events include all high school athletics, esports and competitive video games.

The fines would be imposed either by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement or the New Jersey Racing Commission depending on whether the offense happened at a casino or racetrack.

Caesars Entertainment operates two Atlantic City casinos that have sports books: Bally’s and Harrah’s.

Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC