Online sports betting and iGaming in regulated US markets have been booming during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, there has also been an increasing number of complaints about various incidents in states that offer legal online iGaming such as poker.
One example, in particular, resulted in an official advisory bulletin by the Director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) in New Jersey. It outlines that operators are prohibited to solicit patrons to reserve pending withdrawal requests.
As one of the first states to allow legal online sports betting, the procedures and institutions in place in New Jersey have been a prime example for other US states that followed in the same footsteps after. The letter was published on January 13, 2021, and signed by DGE Director David Rebuck. It doesn’t specify the number of cases or names of the nefarious operators that warranted the complaints but showcase that the DGE takes the volume of incidents seriously.
As mentioned in the bulletin, patrons reported contact from licensed operators encouraging or enticing them to reverse the withdrawal request and wager the funds instead. Some patrons were even offered bonus money to reverse a pending withdrawal request. This practice was deemed to be unacceptable by the New Jersey regulator.
Withdrawal requests are not instant according to state law but it is clear that the rules do not countenance unnecessary delay.
It is required by the operators to verify the player’s identity to make sure no fraudulent activities of any kind are taking place. As soon as this due process has been completed, the withdrawal then has to be processed as quickly as possible. And it appears that during this exact time frame, operators were trying to influence the patrons in various ways to reverse their withdrawal requests.
The DGE conducted a review of the existing regulations and industry practices with regard to withdrawals to determine if licensed operators are complying with the intent of the existing rules in place. It concluded in the official statement that the existing rules of the Division prohibit the practice of soliciting or incentivizing withdrawal requests to be rescinded or canceled by the patron.
Contrary to the delaying tactics during the ongoing withdrawal process, funds are immediately available for wagering if the request is rescinded. This scenario was deemed unacceptable and the same also applies to bonus incentives being offered to patrons to influence their pending withdrawal request.
Should players experience any such an attempt, they can immediately complain to the operator which holds the respective casino license permit. If this initial complaint doesn’t lead to a positive outcome, the patrons can take further steps with regulatory bodies.
In the state of New Jersey, the next step would be contacting the DGE for further guidance. Required documents to lodge an official proceeding include the original complaint and the answer by the operator along with the official Internet Gaming Dispute Form.
Step 1: File the complaint with the offending operator.
Step 2: Document the complaint and the response by the operator.
Step 3: Submit all required documents and additional proof to the regulatory body.
Licensed operators who have been found guilty of such nefarious tactics will face regulatory action not only in the state of New Jersey but all states that offer legal sports betting and other forms of gaming including online poker. As part of th*e statewide regulations, sophisticated measures are in place to protect patrons from unsolicited offers by licensed operators.*
Customers shall document all suspicious behavior and can subsequently lodge an official complaint with the state authorities by including as many details and proof as possible. By following all the necessary steps, the dispute can be resolved in a more efficient way and the money will become available faster.