Out-Of-State Gambler Must Forfeit $90,000

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Mar 21, 2018
A man living in California must forfeit more than $90,000 from online accounts he gambled with from outside the state, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Vinh Dao allegedly broke New Jersey laws that require internet betting can only occur if the patron is physically within state boundaries.

According to the Associated Press, the incident happened in February 2014, when online gaming only had been active in the Garden State for three months, when the technology was still finding its feet and under adjustment.

Dao reportedly cooperated with state gambling regulators, and because of his willingness to negotiate an end to the case, New Jersey officials are allowing him to keep $2,500 of the almost $93,000 in the accounts. Dao’s online accounts were affiliated with Borgata and Caesars Interactive-NJ.

It’s possible the Jersey casinos that permitted Dao to gamble from outside the state could face fines. Borgata declined comment and Caesars Interactive told the Associated Press it was looking “into the details of the case.”

It is unclear how Dao bypassed geolocation technology in place to prevent such an act from happening.

The technology was supposed to create a digital wall around the state, only allowing wagers placed within New Jersey. The technology relies on mobile phone connections with cell towers to verify location, and though applications exist that can hide GPS coordinates, it is nearly impossible to circumvent tower data, officials say.

New Jersey regulators say attempts to gamble from outside the state are detected and rejected each day.

The money forfeited will be split between multiple funds for senior citizens, the disabled and programs that prevents or treats compulsive gambling.

According to the Associated Press article, the Dao case was the largest of six forfeiture cases made public this week that involved casino companies accepting wagers from those ineligible to gamble either because of age (under 21 years old), placement on a self-exclusion list or, like Dao’s case, gambling from beyond the New Jersey stateline.