NJ Sports Betting Regulator Declines To Name Operators In Reverse Withdrawal Row

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NJ sports betting

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is declining to name which operators encouraged players to reverse withdrawals and gamble on.

The DGE first strongly suggested operators were doing this in an open letter in January but did not name names.

Legal Sports Report submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for additional information. The NJ sports betting regulator refused to provide any more details

More information on NJ sports betting case

In an emailed statement, the DGE custodian of records gave two key reasons for the denial.

First, she said the records might reveal the identity of a citizen informant and were therefore confidential. She also said the DGE had made “no specific findings as to a particular operator’s conduct.”

As a result, disclosing names might “unfairly subject such operator to irreparable harm to its reputation and goodwill.”

Further details of investigating reverse withdrawals?

A close read of the initial letter from January suggests the DGE carried out some level of review of current withdrawal policies after customer complaints.

Here’s a key takeaway (emphasis added by LSR:)

“This review revealed that in the period between a withdrawal request and the actual release of funds to the customer, patrons reported contact from providers encouraging or enticing them to reverse the withdrawal request and wager the funds. It has been reported by some patrons that they were even offered bonus money to reverse a pending withdrawal request.” 

The DGE did not detail what additional investigation it undertook into these complaints.

Responsible gambling advocates want operators named

Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, called on the DGE to name the offending operators.

“There are some serious responsible gambling concerns here,” Whyte said. “Especially around the solicitation of play during arbitrarily extended withdrawal times.”

Consider a lesson from across the pond where the gambling industry is now facing strict controls, largely because operators refused to operate in a responsible manner. The UK’s Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently banned reverse withdrawals with effect from the end of October.

“Evidence shows that reverse withdrawals present a risk to players because of the temptation to continue gambling,” the UKGC said.

The commission said reverse withdrawals were a flag for potential gambling harm. That opinion is supported by “academic research, lived experience and expert advice,” the commission added.