A bill that would formalize the penalties for New Jersey casinos and sportsbooks that take illegal sports bets was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday with a vote of 6-0 in favor.
The bill, titled A 4947, was introduced by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo at the end of February and would set fines of $20,000 to $100,000 for violating the state’s gambling laws. On top of this, they would have to pay an additional fine equal to the total amount of illegal bets they accepted. The bill could even suspend a sportsbook’s license for up to 10 days.
Caputo said: “We must provide the proper and necessary oversight to ensure that our state’s holders of sports wagering licenses abide by the laws set forth.
“We want New Jersey’s sports and race gaming industry to succeed, and in order for us to do this, we must guarantee that everyone plays fairly by the rules, and that if people break those rules, they are punished accordingly.”
Although sports betting is legal in the Garden State, some bets are prohibited. In New Jersey, it is illegal to wager on New Jersey college teams, regardless of where they play. It is also illegal to wager on any college game that takes place within the state of New Jersey.
Caesars was hit with a $2000 fine while Golden Nugget was forced to forfeit the $390 in illegal wagers. Under the proposed legislation sportsbooks that accept illegal bets could have to pay up 10 times the amount that Caesars and Golden Nugget were fined.
If successful, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) and New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) would be responsible for issuing the fines. Fine issued by the NJDGE would go towards the state Casino Control Fund while fines imposed by the NJRC would go towards the New Jersey General Fund.