PokerStars to Pay a $10,000 Fine for Illegal Betting

PokerStars is the largest real money online poker site in the world, but it has been making significant efforts to diversify its efforts and increase its presence on other markets as well.

Following the last year’s decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) and end the federal ban on wagering on sport, which had been in place for more than 25 years, the gaming giant decided to venture into the world of sports betting.

So far, PokerStars has seen a fair share of ups and downs in this segment, but none of them was as serious as the latest one.

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PokerStars Fined for Illegal Gambling

According to available information, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has fined PokerStars – for illegal gambling! The Garden State’s gaming authority has slapped PokerStars with a $10,000 fine for accepting a sports bet which involved two New Jersey-based universities.

Betting on collegiate sports is prohibited in New Jersey, and according to DGE, PokerStars and its owner, The Stars Group, should have done more to prevent their software from accepting such bets.

Under the provisions of the state’s law on sports gambling, betting on all forms of collegiate sport that takes place in New Jersey or that involves any college team from the state is considered illegal.

PokerStars have allegedly accepted a total of 216 bets worth more than $2,700 for a basketball game played last year in November, between Rutgers University and Eastern Michigan University. PokerStars also received another bet on a game played between Monmouth University and University of Pennsylvania which took place on New Year’s Eve

Following these allegations, The Stars Group has issued a statement admitting the company had made a fault. The statement also said the operator had voided the bets and refunded all bets before the games in question had been played.

Increasing the Fines Could Be the Next Step

It should be noted that PokerStars is not the first operator to be fined by the New Jersey gambling authority for allowing illegal betting. Back in December last year, Caesars paid a $2,000 penalty for accepting bets on a game between Rutgers and the University of Kansas, which was made possible due to a computer glitch.

Many argued the penalty would have the desired effect, as $2,000 was an amount a casino giant like this can earn in a couple of minutes.

It seems that there those who believe that fines are not strict enough to send the right message to operators. That’s why New Jersey Assemblyman Ralph Caputo has been working on a proposal titled Assembly Bill 4947, whose aim is to significantly increase the size of these fines.

It this piece of legislation drafted by Caputo gets the necessary approval, it will enable the DGE to recommend to the state’s Casino Control Commission (CCC) to introduce fines ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 per violation. Of course, the CCC would be the one to decide whether to approve the suggested fines or not.