State Calls Out NJ Sportsbooks Over Withdrawal Requests

State Calls Out NJ Sportsbooks Over Withdrawal Requests
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Although New Jersey had impressive revenue news on Wednesday, it seems some bettors are not receiving their withdrawal requests in a timely fashion and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has indicated it is paying attention.

In the first Director’s Advisory Bulletin of the year put out by NJDGE Director David Rebuck on Wednesday, a recent review found that online operators in New Jersey — none were mentioned specifically — have been offering incentives to get customers to rescind their withdrawal requests, which is a violation of state regulations.

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The three-page letter, posted on the DGE website, was a warning to online operators in the state that they could face civil or regulatory penalties for these practices.

The DGE received complaints regarding the processing time for withdrawals from online gaming accounts, according to the letter. Specifically, customers had complained that after requesting a withdrawal of funds, it was taking up to two weeks for the funds to be available to them.

The volume of complaints led the DGE to review existing regulations and practices regarding withdrawals to ensure the division’s concerns over a player’s protection and responsible gaming are being balanced against a customer’s right to access their funds, the letter said.

The review concluded that in the period between a withdrawal request and transfer of funds, customers reported that online operators “encouraged or enticed them” to reverse the request and bet with the funds. In some instances, the letter said, bettors said they were rewarded bonus money to reverse a withdrawal request.

Rules Prohibit the Practice

According to the letter, “Existing rules of the Division prohibit the practice of soliciting or incentivizing withdrawal requests to be rescinded or cancelled by the customer.”

Six regulations listed in the advisory were reviewed.

“It is further noted that it would be an aggravating factor in any penalty proceeding for patrons to be offered bonus money or other incentives to reverse a withdrawal request,” Rebuck said in the advisory. “Patrons who request withdrawals have the right to receive their funds as expeditiously as possible. The Division has determined that a solicitation of the reversal of a withdrawal to be an impermissible delaying tactic.”

No specific penalty figures were mentioned in the advisory should this continue to be an issue, but the letter said that “operators should clearly understand the Division will take regulatory action and impose civil penalties whenever patrons are improperly encouraged or incentivized to rescind their withdrawal requests to resume gaming activity.”

NJ Continues to Set Records

December sports betting handle at New Jersey sportsbooks finished just shy of $1 billion, as the state set three national records for a month. The total sports betting handle, mobile sports betting handle and sports betting revenue each set new national marks for any month.

The Garden State topped $900 million for the second straight month in total sports betting handle, hitting $996.3 million in December. That was up 6.9% from November ($931.6 million) and an increase of 78.6% from December 2019’s $557.8 million.

The total handle for 2020 at New Jersey sportsbooks was just over $6 billion, a 30.4% increase over 2019’s $4.6 billion. Sports wagering revenue for 2020 in New Jersey was $398.5 million.

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