According to a letter published by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, there has been an increase in number of complaints from players reporting various withdrawal delay attempts implemented by licensed bookmakers in the state.
Although the DGE did not specify the number of complaints or mention the names of the New Jersey sportsbooks accused of the nefarious tactics, it is clear that the pressure coming from the players was big enough to warrant a public statement.
The letter states that certain sportsbooks went as far as offering bonuses for those players who decided to reverse their withdrawals and continue gambling with the money. The New Jersey regulator described this practice as unacceptable.
Bookmakers Violating Numerous State Rules
According to the DGE director David Rebuck, trying to influence players in any way to cancel their withdrawals violates several state rules. Rebuck made it clear that:
Operators should clearly understand that the Division will take regulatory action and impose civil penalties whenever patrons are improperly encouraged or incentivized to rescind their withdrawal requests for the purpose of resuming gaming activity.
New Jersey has one of the strictest regulatory structures, and other states in the US have looked to its example when creating their own sports betting legislation in the recent years. Even still, some see this action by the DGE as too soft and lenient, as operators are basically getting just a slap on the wrist.
How Can Players Protect Themselves from Withdrawal Delay Tactics?
The current betting law in New Jersey does not require operators to immediately process withdrawal requests. Bookmakers can take an undefined amount of time to verify the player’s identity and make sure there are no fraudulent activities of any kind.
However, as soon as the due process is completed, they have the obligation to process the withdrawal as quickly as possible.
Bookmakers trying to delay withdrawals by directly communicating with the players and trying to get them to change their mind, sometimes even offering them cash bonuses to reverse the withdrawal, are breaking the rules and such communication would be considered an “aggravating factor” in any disciplinary proceedings against the operator.
In the event a player is approached by a bookmaker in this manner, there is a procedure in place to file their complaint.
The first step is documenting the complaint with the operator (the casino license permit holder). If the original complaint does not produce the satisfactory result, the player can take up their complaint with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
The original complaint and the operator’s answer need to be submitted together with the Internet Gaming Dispute Form available at DGE’s website as well as at the security podium of each licensed casino.
Registering a Complaint with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
- File a complaint with the offending igaming operator
- Document your complaint and the operator’s response
- Submit the documented complaint along with a completed Internet Gaming Dispute Form with the New Jersey DGE (must include the original complaint and the operator’s response)
Perhaps the mounting number of player complaints will lead to the DGE changing its rules further dissuade operators from offering the reverse withdrawal option in the first place.
The UK Gambling Commission recently issued an order to this effect to its licensees in the United Kingdom, seeking to protect players, especially during the ongoing crisis and accompanying lockdowns. Other regulators in Europe and across the globe will likely also follow suit.