ATLANTIC CITY — The online gambling arm of casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been fined $10,000 for sending promotional materials to hundreds of people who had voluntarily excluded themselves from Internet gambling in New Jersey.
The fine against Caesars Interactive Entertainment is the first of its type imposed on a gambling operator since New Jersey launched Internet gambling in November 2013, said Kerry Langan, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.
New Jersey’s “self-exclusion list” allows compulsive gamblers to voluntarily ban themselves from Internet gambling or from playing in the brick-and-mortar casino hotels. Casinos and online gambling operators are not allowed to solicit those people or send them promotional materials as long as they remain on the list.
Between Feb. 16 and May 28, Caesars Interactive emailed promotional materials to more than 250 self-excluded gamblers, according to documents posted Wednesday on the Division of Gaming Enforcement website.
Seth Palansky, vice president of communications for Caesars Interactive, said the company accepted responsibility and regrets “the harm this incident may have caused.” He said Caesars Interactive reported the problem to regulators when it was discovered.
“The issue that caused our system to inadvertently target these patrons has been fixed and we have had no incidents since,” Palansky said in a statement. “We can assure the public that this lapse on our part was not an intentional targeting of these patrons, but simply a back-end software issue that failed to properly scrub our database before certain mailings.”
Caesars Interactive is an affiliate of Caesars Entertainment, owner of the Caesars, Bally’s and Harrah’s Resort casinos in Atlantic City.
In May, Caesars Interactive was fined $3,000 for failing to legibly include the required “1-800-GAMBLER” compulsive gambling hotline number on billboards that advertised online gambling.
Also Wednesday, the Division of Gaming Enforcement announced it had fined Tropicana Casino and Resort $6,000 for allowing two underage patrons to drink alcohol April 10. Tropicana accepted the fine in a settlement with the division.
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