New Jersey state gaming regulators have levied a $10,000 fine against PokerStars. While the amount is rather small for a company as big as PokerStars, it is still the biggest sports betting fine issued in the garden state till date. The fine was issued for accepting over 200 bets on prohibited events.
The company which is registered in New Jersey as TSG Interactive US Services Limited was found guilty of two counts of accepting bets in violation of the state’s sports betting regulations. The $10,000 fine levied against PokerStars has become the biggest one to date so far.  The company operates BetStarsNJ.com through a license obtained from Resorts.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) stated that there were 216 bets accepted by PokerStars for the amount of $2,756.89 for the Rutgers men’s college basketball game versus Eastern Michigan on November 19, 2018.  The company was also found guilty of receiving wagers for the Monmouth University men’s college basketball game against Pennsylvania on December 31.
These fines were imposed because of the existence of state regulations preventing betting for collegiate events involving teams who play in the state or events that happen within venues that are located in New Jersey.
PokerStars Accepts Penalty  
PokerStars had accepted the charges and has agreed to pay the fine according to public documents. The Stars Group which is the parent company of PokerStars said that their police is not to comment on regulatory matters but acknowledged that manual gating errors were responsible for the lapse.
The Stars Group via an email confirmed that they will continue to cooperate with DGE and were confident that this mistake will not happen again since they have fixed the issues that led to the lapse.
Bill Sponsor Regrets Presence Of Illegal Betting Statute
Ray Lesniak, the former state senator who had sponsored the passage of this particular bill, has expressed regrets for having included this in the sports betting legislation passed initially in 2011 and subsequently approved by a voter referendum.  Said language was deemed necessary then because of concerns that betting on collegiate events would affect the integrity of the game.
Mr. Lesniak pointed out that betting has not affected professional games and leagues and he believed that collegiate events would also be unaffected.  He would like to see the measure appear on the ballot for New Jersey voters to decide but felt that it wouldn’t take place anytime soon as this is not a priority at the moment.
The former state senator also added that it was important for betting to take place in the open, as it presented a much better scenario since it can be monitored closely to discover unusual betting patterns which may affect the integrity of the game.
Though he regrets the presence of this regulation, Mr. Lesniak was happy that PokerStars was pulled up for their lapses and stressed that betting operators must always be mindful of following New Jersey’s current gambling regulations.
Multiple Betting Operators Breach Collegiate Rules
The state gaming regulator sent out an email before the start of the 2018 college basketball season to all sports betting operators to make them aware of the no collegiate betting rule.
This broadcast was done before the state staged a basketball event which was the Boardwalk Classic held at the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in December, where eight teams participated, seven of which were from out of state.
However, it still did not stop betting operators from taking bets on collegiate events. While PokerStars received the biggest sports betting fine, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Caesars Entertainment Corp and Resorts Casino Hotel accepted wagers on Princeton University and Rutgers events which saw them being slapped with a fine as well.
Legalized betting operators were not the only ones to accept bets on these collegiate games. A number of offshore betting operators also took bets on these events which are very popular with bettors in New Jersey.
A leading state sports-betting analyst, Dustin Gouker, has argued for legalizing betting on these games since it would better serve market transparency. Gouker pointed out that for Rutgers University and other state-based college team games, there was plenty of betting action taking place at offshore and it was betting for the rule to be lifted and for regulated betting sites to take in the action.

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