The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has fined the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City as well as bwin.party entertainment (NJ) LLC, the Borgata’s online gaming software partner, for allowing self-excluded customers to continue to play – and lose money – on its internet gambling site.
There were two penalties handed out. The first was a forfeiture in the amount of $41,759.49, which equals the total money lost by the self-excluded players. The second was a civil penalty in the amount of $81,000. Essentially, the Borgata and bwin.party have to fork over the money they made from the self-excluded individuals and then have to pay about double that as a penalty for their actions (or lack thereof).
The Division of Gaming Enforcement originally filed the complaint against the Borgata and bwin.party on December 20th, 2018. The orders were signed by DGE Director David Rebuck on March 8th, 2019 and made public on March 15th as part of the DGE’s semimonthly report.
There were twelve people listed on the complaints, but only by their initials: PA, TG, HG, EG, PK, JK, PM, AO, MR, AS1, AS2, and DT. None of them requested a hearing, so none of them will actually receive the money forfeited by the Borgata and bwin.party to the Division of Gaming Enforcement (I suppose the gaming operators could refund the players directly, but I would be surprised if that happened, as they would then be paying double).
The online gambling sites in New Jersey are required to have extensive responsible gaming information readily available to players, as well as present options for players to limit their risk. One of these options is to self-exclude, or, in other words, to ban oneself from playing. Here is the bulk of the self-exclusion information provided on borgataonline.com (as much as is viewable without logging into an account):
BorgataCasino.com customers are able to temporarily suspend their account or self-exclude from further gaming for if they have developed gambling-related problems or feel at risk of developing gambling-related problems. You can temporarily suspend your account for any period from 3 to 180 days. Self-exclusion will ban you from any New Jersey licensed Internet gaming for a duration of 1 or 5 years and cannot be revoked. Any person requesting temporary suspension or placement on the Internet self-exclusion list shall submit his or her request through their Internet gaming account. Once your account is created, log in and go to My Account and select the “Responsible Gaming” option.
People can also self-exclude from New Jersey online gaming sites through the DGE’s website or self-exclude from internet gaming or all gambling (internet and live) by filing an application in person at one of several New Jersey locations.
Borgata (and the other New Jersey sites) also allow players to put daily, weekly, or monthly limits on both deposits and wagers. Players can request decreases in those limits, but there is a delay in the change equal to the number of days of the limit (so there is a one day delay on a daily limit, etc.).