New Jersey

NJ Online Gaming’s Big Fraud Prevention Victory – $10k Plot Thwarted

Last March, a biased article appeared in the Press of Atlantic City that attempted to debase New Jersey online gaming. The disputed article, which software-developer James Thackston is behind, claims that NJ’s internet gaming operation is rife for cheating, collusion, and other methods of fraud. But any concerns that this now-removed article created may be slowly dissipating after the Garden State thwarted a $10k fraud attempt.

Big Loser Claims Their Identity Was Stolen

Most people take responsibility for their online gaming losses. But Diana Zolla had different plans after she lost $9,565. The Jackson Township, NJ resident reported that somebody had stolen her identity and racked up the losses.

Police then reviewed banking, internet service provider (ISP) and online gaming records to verify Zolla’s claims. After the investigation, they were able to determine that nobody stole her identity and she was the one who lost the money. The 31-year-old has been charged with theft by deception and released until a TBA court date.

How Gaming Operators Helped Bring Zolla Down

While state police did the grunt work behind this fraud-prevention case, measures installed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) were also a tremendous help. Thanks to geolocation technology used to locate online casino and poker players within the state, authorities were able to determine where exactly the game play took place. And it’s likely that a good number of these locations were within Zolla’s primary residence.

Following the arrest, David Rebuck, Director of the DGE, issued a warning to any future gamblers who might try to defraud the state or fellow players. “The Division of Gaming Enforcement and the State Police are committed to working together to deter fraudulent activity and instill confidence in internet gaming operations for all involved, including players, platform providers, and payment processors,” Rebuck said. “Suspicious transactions are thoroughly investigated, and as this case shows, attempts to defraud New Jersey casinos will not be tolerated.”

What this Case means for Online Gaming’s Reputation

Thackston and Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson have made plenty of attempts to destroy the reputation of US internet gaming. And one of the key arguments touted by opponents of cyber gaming is that there aren’t enough safeguards in place to prevent cheating, fraud and money laundering.

But the case involving Zolla is a big indicator that NJ regulators are more than capable of helping bring down nefarious players and scam artists.

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