California Man Forfeits $90,000 won Playing Online Casinos in New Jersey from Out of State

In a case that dates back to the early days of online gambling in New Jersey, a California man will forfeit about $90,000 he had amassed in online accounts in the state. The player, identified as Vinh Dao, played from outside the state’s borders, which is prohibited under New Jersey law.

New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement announced it has reached a settlement with a California man who amassed about $93,000 by playing New Jersey online casino sites while not physically within the state’s borders.

The case dates back to February 2014, within the first three months online gambling was legal in the state. When the state first went live with online gaming, problems were reported with geolocation programs used by online casinos, though most revolved around sites blocking players who were, in fact, within the state’s borders.

The division said the player, Vinh Dao, whose current residence was not released, violated New Jersey law which prohibits betting by players not physically located in the state,

Dao, however, cooperated with officials and negotiated a settlement where he may keep $2,500 that was in his online accounts with sites affiliated with the Borgata and Caesars Interactive-NJ, the Associated Press reported.

Details of how Dao was able to get around geolocation programs were not released. Geolocation programs use a variety of strategies including monitoring connections from cell phones to cell towers whose locations cannot be masked.

Both Caesars and Borgata could face possible fines in the case. Borgata did not comment on the case and Caesars Interactive told the AP it would look into the details of the case, but did not address potential penalties.

The forfeited money will be split between a fund for senior citizens and the disabled, and programs to prevent or treat compulsive gambling, regulators said.

According to the AP, the case was the largest of six announced forfeiture cases involving casino companies accepting bets from people ineligible to gamble because the patrons were under 21 years of age, had placed themselves on a self-exclusion list, or in Dao’s case, were acting from outside the state’s borders.

In addition to the Borgata and Caesars Interactive, smaller forfeitures were ordered in cases involving Bally’s and the Golden Nugget, the AP said.