Rush Street Interactive Fined $30k for Underage Bettors

Door with sign saying NO ONE UNDER 21 YRS OLD IS ALLOWED
Rush Street interactive has been fined $30,000 for allowing underage betters to gamble online.

30-second summary

  • Thirteen patrons between 18 and 20 years of age were able to open accounts
  • System defect was only discovered in January
  • Bets were placed between November 2016 and January 2018

System defect blamed

Rush Street Interactive has been fined $30,000 (£23,000) for permitting underage bettors to gamble online for more than a year.

This is the first fine levied against the New Jersey platform. It is also the first relating to underage internet gambling in the state since the beginning of online gambling in November 2013.

According to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), a software defect that failed to accurately record patrons’ birthdates enabled underage gamblers to place bets between November 2016 and January 2018, reports the News & Observer. The defect was discovered in January 2018. It enabled a three-year variation in a person’s date instead of recording the birthdate accurately.

A January 7 ruling was issued by the DGE stating the fine to be paid “for permitting individuals under the age of twenty-one to wager online.”

The complaint was filed on June 28, 2018, but the underage betting started shortly after Rush Street Interactive launched its PlaySugarHouse.com site in the regulated online market in New Jersey. The News & Observer says that the software defect has now been fixed. Between the dates in question, 13 people between the ages of 18 and 20 were able to open accounts and place bets amounting to around $5,000 (£3,800).

Rush Street Interactive said in a statement: “We take this matter very seriously. As soon as our team discovered the misconfiguration, we self-reported it to the gaming commission and took immediate action to correct and prevent recurrence. Responsible gaming is a top priority for us.”

$2k fine for college football bets

Notably, the SugarHouse casino’s online arm in New Jersey is linked with the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City.

The Golden Nugget was hit with a fine in January, along with Caesars Atlantic City, after it was discovered that their sportsbooks had taken wagers on college football games involving Rutgers University. According to a report, Caesars AC’s parent company, Boardwalk Regency Corporation, was fined $2,000 (£1,500). Golden Nugget AC’s parent company, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, LLC, was also fined $390 (£298).

In December, the DGE also levied a fine of $3,862.35 (2,961.84) on the Golden Nugget after it was found to have permitted four self-excluded individuals to gamble at the casino during their exclusionary periods.

Sports betting on the rise in NJ

Last year was productive for New Jersey’s sports betting industry.

In August, it was reported that during the first full month of legalized betting in July, the amount of money wagered at the state’s three casino facilities and two racetracks totaled $40.6m (£31.1m). Sports betting was legalized in New Jersey on June 14.

Gaming revenues in the state during August were boosted significantly due to the addition of sports betting and casinos. According to a report from September, figures rose 22.5% over August 2017.

That upward trajectory continued in September, when there was a 92% increase in sports betting revenue to $184m (£141m). This is compared to the $96m (£73.6m) from August. October’s revenue reached another new monthly high, totaling more than $260m (£200), an increase of 41% month-to-month.