The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved three more fines at their meeting last week for the illegal use of credit cards by sports betting operations.
Racing and Gaming Administrator Brian Ohorilko says they are part of one case involving the company processing the payments for the sports betting companies. “In these particular cases, they involve some prepaid cards, a complicated type of transaction where customers either unknowingly or willingly circumvented the credit card rules. And so we do think though, I should mention, that this is an isolated incident,” Ohorilko says.
BetMGM and Elite Hospitality were each fined $60,000, while SCE Partners was fined $20,000. Two other sports gambling companies were fined at the Commission’s August meeting in the same case. Ohorilko says this is something that is rare, as he says credit card violations are really not something they have experienced with the casino industry, though there have been a few.
Ohorilko says it is tougher to have something like this happen for traditional betting at a casino. “In the casino environment, there are a number of physical controls that are in place,” he says, “and so you know, you cannot use a credit card you cannot put a credit card into a slot machine and so so the only way to use a credit card in a physical casino would be to get some sort of cash advance.”
Ohorilko says getting that credit card cash advance would take a lapse in oversight by casino employees. Representatives from the three sports gambling operations appeared at the meeting and said they are taking steps to correct the problem.
Ohorilko says the large fines send the message that this is not acceptable. “Two years ago the law was changed in Iowa that called out the use of credit cards for wagering on any type of sports wagering and gambling games, and so it is something that is very important to the policymakers in this state and it’s something that we really don’t want to see,” Ohorilko says.
He says the companies all addressed the situation promptly and they have done some follow-up audits that have not found any issues.