Atlantic City Sportsbooks Fined for Taking Illegal Sports Bets

Golden Nugget Atlantic City Fined

Golden Nugget Atlantic City’s sportsbook took bets on a Rutgers-Kansas game in September.

Two New Jersey casinos were fined by regulators this week for taking illegal wagers on college football games. Caesars Entertainment Corp owns two sportsbooks in New Jersey: Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement said a Caesars sportsbook took a bet on the game between Rutgers and Kansas on Sept. 10. It was not specified whether Harrah’s or Bally’s took the bet.

While most NCAA college football games are legal in Atlantic City casinos, it is illegal to take bets on schools which are located inside New Jersey. While visitors to the casino can make a bet on games with Ohio State, Michigan, or other Big Ten schools, they cannot bet on Rutgers college football games.

Games involving Seton Hall, Princeton, and Monmouth all fall under the same ban.

Golden Nugget Forfeited $390

Golden Nugget Atlantic City also took bets which were illegal back in September. The DGE told Golden Nugget it had to forfeit $390 it accepted for “various New Jersey college football games in September.”

The DGE’s statement said Golden Nugget took wagers from “unknown individuals” and never repaid them.

Fines on Golden Nugget, Caesars

The sportsbooks appear to have received minimal fines, though the fines levied were not stipulated in early press releases. Defenders of the sportsbooks will say that the infractions were minor and they were the result of early disorganization and confusion, because September was the beginning of the NCAA football season — and it is the first year of sports betting.

They also will point out that the infractions did not take place multiple times, but were quickly caught.

Division of Gaming Enforcement Statement

Kerry Langan, a spokeswoman for the Division of Gaming Enforcement, told the Press of Atlantic City, “Prohibited sporting events were posted and wagers were placed on those events. All improperly posted bets were voided and if the gamblers were known, those funds were returned to them.”

Those who believe New Jersey casinos should have paid a large fine would say sportsbook operators need to understand the law before they launch a major business. Caesars Entertainment and Golden Nugget run sportsbooks in Las Vegas and have for many years, so their managers should not be making rookie mistakes.

Plausible Explanation for AC Sports Betting Mixup

The fact the sportsbooks were tied to Nevada entities might have been the problem. If Caesars and Golden Nugget used the same information in Atlantic City that they used in Las Vegas, then the Rutgers-Kansas game might have appeared in the list of games automatically.