NJ Regulator Warns Sportsbooks Over Payout Tardiness

The State of New Jersey’s gaming regulator, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has threatened the state’s online sportsbooks with potential licensing and regulatory action if some of them continue with their practice of delaying customer requests to withdraw funds.

For now, the practice is not widespread, however, some unscrupulous sportsbook operators have been identified as attempting to delay bettors’ withdrawals for up to 2 weeks, whilst at the same time tempting them with offers to keep wagering their wins. Some other online sportsbooks have asked customers to cancel their requests to cash out their wins. The NJDGE is on record as saying that both practices are totally ‘unacceptable’.

The NJDGE Warns Sportsbooks With Fines & Legal Action

In a letter posted recently to the Garden State’s regulatory authority site, NJDGE Director, David Rebuck wrote that attempting to talk customers out of organizing cash outs from their sports betting accounts violates a number of state rules. Rebuck did not state which online sportsbooks were involved in the practice, nor did he comment on how many complaints that the NJDGE has investigated before issuing this thinly veiled warning;

“Patrons who request withdrawals have the right to receive their funds as expeditiously as possible,” he wrote. “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.” Rebuck concluded.

According to Rebuck’s letter, what led the NJDGE to act was receiving a number of complaints regarding withdrawal processing times from online sportsbooks. Many customers have correctly objected that after requesting a withdrawal of their winnings, it has been taking as long as 2 weeks for their money to be returned to them. Most NJ online sportsbooks boast 48 to 72 hour withdrawal processing times and in many cases, instant withdrawals are advertised when using web wallets such as PayPal, Neteller or Skrill, or Cash at Casino Cage at land-based partners.

A number of complaints to the NJDGE led the regulatory body to review existing practices in the Garden State regarding withdrawals. The investigation’s aim has been to ensure the division’s concerns over responsible gaming and player protection are being counterbalanced by any customer’s ability to access their money at any time, the letter stated.

The NJDGE review into payout tardiness concluded that in the period between a payout request and the eventual transfer of winnings, many customers noted that online sportsbook operators “encouraged or enticed them” to reverse their withdrawal requests and continue to place wagers with those funds. On some occasions, the letter stated, bettors reported that they had been enticed by the promise of rewards and bonus bet money to reverse their payout requests.

Rebuck wrote that while no minimum withdrawal time is specified by the NJDGE, making delays in payouts will not be tolerated by the regulator;

“While no specific time frame for processing a withdrawal is mandated, it is clear that the rules do not countenance unnecessary delay………Accordingly, while no specific time frame is referenced, the rules regarding withdrawals from an online account are intended to require patrons to receive their withdrawn funds without any delay longer than needed to perform an anti-fraud or anti-money laundering check,” he wrote.

Long story short, the NJDGE is out there for you and ensuring that New Jersey sports betting is fair and transparent, and most importantly, that online sportsbook operators are kept in check and are respecting their customers wishes.

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