As a part of routine operations for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, SG Gaming, also known as Scientific Games, has been fined $10,000 for allowing self-excluded customers to register for gambling accounts and lose money. The news was announced as part of their bi-monthly media releases. The fine was issued and signed on March 2, 2023.
Background Information About the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is primarily responsible for enforcing the Casino Control Act and all rules and regulations relating to in-state gambling. The State of New Jersey also has a Casino Control Commission in addition to the Division of Gaming Enforcement.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement is responsible for day-to-day regulatory functions and investigating license applicants. The Casino Control Commission conducts public hearings before awarding or denying licenses. It also has the power to overturn decisions made by the DGE.
What is SG Gaming Inc?
SG Gamingalso known as Scientific Games or SG Digital, is a casino slots and games manufacturer primarily. The company is responsible for creating many popular slots you might find in a Las Vegas casino, like Quick Hit Slots.
Scientific Games was originally founded in 1973, and at the time, the brand primarily focused on lottery games. Over the years, Scientific Games created numerous lottery games, casino games, and a sports betting business. Portions of the brand have also been sold, resulting in the Scientific Gaming brand renaming the casino gaming portion of the company to Light & Wonder back in 2021. The SG Gaming brand appears to primarily focus on lottery games nowadays, perhaps signaling the separation between these brands.
It appears as though many of the sites offering casino gaming in New Jersey, like 888 Casinooffer casino games designed by Scientific Gaming. If we head over to the 888 Casino site, we can see an entire page dedicated to the brand and its games.
To be abundantly clear, there is no evidence that 888 Casino or any other New Jersey casino operator has committed any wrongdoing. The fine and action only apply to SG Gaming Inc. It is a bit unclear as to why SG Gaming Inc was named in this complaint as opposed to the supposed new name, Light & Wonder (LNW Gaming), or if these two companies are operating independently. Unfortunately, we simply don’t have enough information to know much more about this case.
Details of the $10,000 Fine
The Division of Gaming Enforcement filed a complaint on Oct. 24, 2022, against SG Gaming. The complaint alleged that 39 self-excluded customers were able to create online gambling accounts and place wagers.
A self-excluded individual is a person who gambled at a casino and then decided to place their own name on an exclusion list. This is often done by people who may believe they have a gambling problem in an effort to stop gambling. Making such a decision can potentially be a big step forward in a gambling addict’s recovery.
As you can imagine, allowing these customers to sign up again against their prior wishes in writing is certainly not a good idea on any level. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has imposed a $10,000 fine in addition to another $90,718.84, the amount of money lost by the self-excluded patrons.
As far as what rules were broken, the complaint mentions the Casino Control Act. Specifically, the complaint mentions N.J.A.C. 13:69O and N.J.A.C. 13:69D. The first relates to mobile and internet gambling rules and the latter refers to accounting standards and controls.
The odd part about this complaint is that, as we have discussed, SG Gaming is primarily responsible for creating games and supplying the games to casino operators. It isn’t clear in the complaint which casino may have hosted these self-excluded patrons or exactly how SG Gaming was determined to be at fault. At a minimum, we would imagine the complaint might mention by name a casino that operates in New Jersey.
The size of this fine also seems a bit small to make much of a difference. $10,000 is a very negligible amount when we consider the size of the SG Gaming brand. It also seems a bit odd that the DGE can simply recover all of the funds lost by customers. None of these funds are going to be returned to the players who lost them, so we can’t help but wonder: Why do this at all?
All in all, perhaps the DGE feels like recovering the total of the funds lost by self-excluded players is at least a stiffer penalty than a $10,000 fine would be on its own. Perhaps it would be a good idea for the NJ DGE to consider levying more substantial fines against operators when they break rules or regulations in the future.
Online Gambling is Legal and Regulated in New Jersey
New Jersey and Atlantic City have been a hotbed for gambling since the 1970s, and online gambling was added to the menu in due course. Online poker has been legal in New Jersey since 2013.
The state entered a compact to combine player pools with Nevada and Delaware starting in May 2018. In April 2022, Michigan was accepted as the fourth member of the compact.
A few of the most popular regulated poker sites have started to operate in New Jersey, including PokerStars, WSOP.comand PartyPoker. Additionally, a May 2018 verdict in the Supreme Court case Murphy v. NCAA overturned a longstanding ban on sports betting. Soon after, sports betting parlors began to pop up around the state.
Offshore Gambling is Still Available Today in NJ and Beyond
Although poker is legal in New Jersey todaythe in-state, regulated NJ poker sites leave a bit to be desired with their small player pools and narrow selection. If you’d like to play at an offshore poker site that offers plenty of action and promotions, you may wish to check out the various international online cardrooms that accept New Jersey players.
To learn more about these poker sites, check out our N.J. internet poker guide.
Poker enthusiasts who reside in the United States in a different state than New Jersey likely have many more excellent online poker options to choose from. To learn more about the US internet poker sites, please feel free to check out this US online poker guide.