PointsBet, BetRivers Fined For Allowing Self-Excluded Gamblers To Bet

A pair of Indiana sportsbooks allowed self-excluded players to place wagers on their respective platforms.

According to fines issued last week by the Indiana Gaming Commission, PointsBet and BetRivers (Rush Street Interactive) failed in preventing some players from betting despite self-banning themselves. A player can self-ban for whatever reason, but typically those experiencing some degree of problem gambling are the kind of players who do it.

Both sportsbooks worked with the IGC to uncover what happened and were issued small fines.

What happened at the sportsbooks?

On Sept. 30, 2020, the IGC’s Sports Wagering Division received an incident report from PointsBet’s senior director of compliance and regulatory affairs. The notice said that self-excluded gamblers had been allowed to create online accounts and place wagers.

It appears PointsBet self-reported the violations here, as the IGC indicated it did not know about the situation before hearing from the book.

According to the settlement, four prohibited sports wagering participants in total were not excluded. One patron was allowed to deposit funds and place 146 wagers. The amount of money bet was not disclosed by the IGC. No other information about the 146 wagers was made public.

Another gambler deposited and withdrew funds but did not bet. The other two patrons created sports betting accounts but did not have any activity on the platform. PointsBet paid $4,000 for the violations.

It is unclear how the self-excluded gamblers fell through the cracks.

BetRivers’ situation was similar.

According to a settlement, on Oct. 21, 2020, the IGC “became aware of a sports wagering prohibited participant violation by Rush Street.” It appears that here the sportsbook didn’t self-report.

The following day, Oct. 22, 2020, and again on Dec. 2, 2020, Rush Street provided incident reports to the IGC that showed 14 self-banned accounts were not flagged from the period of April 2020 to October 2020. Six of the sportsbook accounts had gambling activity during the six-month period.

A dollar amount for the betting activity was not disclosed.

An IGC review of the incident report determined that nine individuals were Voluntary Exclusion Program (VEP) participants and Internet Self-Restriction Program (ISRP) participants. Both those lists are maintained by the state and are sent to sportsbooks.

BetRivers was fined $9,000, which suggests the violations were more serious than those at PointsBet.

Similar to PointsBet, it is unclear how the self-excluded gamblers fell through the cracks at BetRivers.

DraftKings violation

Another online sportsbook was fined for a problem gambling-related violation.

According to a settlement, on Dec. 4, 2020, a DraftKings regulatory incident manager reported to the regulator that they had sent direct mailers to prohibited sports wagering participants. The mailers were sent out on Nov. 2, 2020 by a third-party vendor with DraftKings. The mailer was sent to 15 individuals who had, for whatever reason, self-banned from sports betting.

Under Indiana rules, a sportsbook must stop sending the mailers no more than 45 days after the gambler self-excludes. DraftKings paid $3,000 for the violation.