Just days before FOX Bet Sportsbook shuts down in New Jersey, regulators in the Garden State tagged the soon-to-be-defunct sports betting operator with an $80,000 penalty for accepting illegal wagers on in-state college basketball dating back to 2021.
Last Friday, David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), issued the penalty against TSG Interactive US Services, an entity associated with FOX Bet.
At issue were wagers that FOX Bet accepted for four college basketball games involving four state universities — Fairleigh Dickinson University, Monmouth University, Rutgers University, and Seton Hall University. State law prohibits betting on college sporting events in New Jersey and wagers in which a team from New Jersey is participating.
Regulator Filed Four Complaints Against FOX Bet
NJDGE has had FOX Bet within its sights since early 2021 and has filed four complaints against the operator in that time.
The regulator filed its first complaint after FOX Bet accepted wagers for a college basketball game between Rutgers and Northwestern University on February 13, 2021. The NJDGE said that at that point, the operator — a joint venture between Flutter Entertainment and Fox Corporation — had violated the state’s ban on in-state college wagering.
A second complaint was filed after the NJDGE alleged FOX Bet had accepted wagers on a college basketball match between Monmouth and Lehigh University on November 16, 2021.
The regulator filed two subsequent complaints after FOX Bet accepted wagers for a college hoops match between Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis University on December 31, 2021, and then again for a game between Seton Hall and the University of Connecticut on January 8, 2022.
FOX Bet has admitted to accepting the wagers involved in each of the NJDGE’s complaints.
FOX Bet Will Be the Latest Sportsbook to Fold
Flutter and Fox issued a joint statement on July 31, announcing that FOX Bet had ceased accepting wagers and would shut down its operations in four states, including New Jersey, by August 31.
The two companies formed a partnership for sports betting in May 2019, but their relationship soured over how much Fox should have to pay for a stake in FanDuel. An arbitrator ruled last November that Fox could acquire an 18.6% stake in FanDuel based upon a valuation of $20 billion.
FOX Bet will become the latest in a string of sportsbooks in the US to have failed to drum up a following. It follows Fubo Sportsbook, MaximBET, and TwinSpires. Earlier this month, Penn Entertainment announced that it would rebrand Barstool Sportsbook as ESPN Bet.
Some state lawmakers tried to convince their constituents to vote in favor of expanded gaming on the grounds that Seton Hall is scheduled to host the East Regional of the NCAA’s Men’s Basketball Tournament in March 2025. The lawmakers didn’t want the state to miss out on the economic benefits of hosting the tournament, aka March Madness.