PokerStars’ New Jersey sports betting arm has earned the unwelcome distinction of being hit with the largest fine ever levied on a Garden State sports betting operator. The unit, officially known as TSG Interactive US Services Limited, caught a $10,000 fine for accepting more than 200 wagers on a college basketball game between Rutgers University and Eastern Michigan that was played back on November 19, as well as another game between Monmouth University and Eastern Pennsylvania.

In most US states that offer regulated sports betting, this kind of wager wouldn’t be a big deal, but New Jersey is a major exception. When the Garden State went to war to legalize sports betting, it wobbled a bit by barring wagers on college sports involving NJ teams (in this case Rutgers and Monmouth) and college sporting events that are played in New Jersey. New Jersey is the only state to impose this restriction, but they definitely take it seriously.

New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) chief David Rebuck even warned operators of this very issue in an email he sent out in November of 2019. In that email Redbuck told operators to be very careful as there were multiple tournaments being played in the state that involved a large number of New Jersey teams. PokerStars, apparently, did not get the message.

In a statement to the Press of Atlantic City, former State Senator, and sports betting bill sponsor, Ray Lesniak said he now regrets including the college sports ban in the bill. Unfortunately, NJ operators like PokerStars are stuck with enforcing it, or paying the price…which they’ve now done.

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