Caesars Sportsbook Gets Slap on the Wrist for Failing to Pay Out $27K Hockey Bet

Caesars Sportsbook has been slapped with a $500 regulatory fine by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) for failing to properly pay out on a more than $27,000 winning hockey bet.

Caesars Sportsbook New Jersey DGE Atlantic City
Caesars Sportsbook New Jersey DGE Atlantic City
Russian professional ice hockey player Sergei Shumakov celebrates a goal in 2018 while playing for CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League. A bettor in New Jersey has successfully received his winning $27,000 bet on a KHL hockey game in December of 2021 nearly a year after Caesars Sportsbook initially refused to pay out the winnings. (Image: TASS Russian News Agency)

State gaming regulators in October remedied a complaint from a bettor in New Jersey who said Caesars wasn’t adhering to its betting terms and conditions. The man, whose identity remained confidential during the nearly yearlong dispute, says on Dec. 22, 2021, he bet on a game in the Kontinental Hockey League, an international ice hockey league that operates in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and China.

The bettor claimed he risked the over on the game’s total score set at 4.5 goals. When the game between the Vityaz Podolsk and Dinamo Riga went into overtime tied 2-2, a fifth goal was eventually scored.

Caesars Sportsbook said the bet lost because overtime didn’t count towards the game’s over/under point spread. The DGE concluded otherwise.

Caesars Fined, Must Pay Bet

Chuck Kimmel, deputy attorney general for the Division of Gaming Enforcement, investigated the matter and determined that nowhere in Caesars Sportsbook’s fine print did it properly inform the bettor that goals scored during an overtime period would not count towards the line’s quoted value.

Kimmel wrote in the DGE order, which was approved and signed on Nov. 10, 2022, by DGE Director David Rebuck, that Caesars’ published House Rules said nothing about hockey overtime scoring not being included against the sportsbook’s over/under. Kimmel said Caesars on Oct. 24, 2022, agreed to pay the patron in full and accepted a $500 regulatory fine for the error.

The DGE is authorized under the state’s gaming and sports betting laws — the Casino Control Act — to penalize a sportsbook licensee found in violation of its own house rules with a civil monetary penalty of up to $2,000. The DGE opted to go lightly on the sportsbook.

Caesars Entertainment controls Caesars Sportsbook and licenses the sports wagering entity in the state through its subsidiary Caesars Interactive Entertainment New Jersey. In Atlantic City, Caesars Sportsbook operates inside Caesars, Tropicana, and Harrah’s. The sportsbook additionally operates online throughout the state.

Previous Fines

Caesars Entertainment was fined $50,000 in January by the DGE for more serious regulatory grievances. State gaming regulators cited the company the considerable fine after learning that at least 49 employees who were required to register and obtain key employee licenses with the DGE failed to do so.

Caesars informed the state of the registration failure. The Casino Control Act requires the DGE to review the suitability of key employees who help manage a licensed gaming property. The legal mandate is to assure that Atlantic City and the state’s iGaming and online sports betting industries remain free of bad actors or individuals with considerable criminal records.

Rebuck said in January that Caesars had accepted the $50,000 penalty “in recognition of the seriousness of its failures related to non-compliance.”

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