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Nevada Casino Caught Referring Players to Illegal Curacao Sites

- May 21, 2018 By Oliver Young -

Casino in Reno, Nevada, caught linking to illegal Curacao sites due to an uniformed employee.

Online gambling in one of the world’s biggest gambling states, Nevada, is a strictly regulated sector where there’s no room for offshore operators who aren’t licensed with the local regulatory body. But one locally-licensed land-based casino operator was found in breach of the state’s gaming regulations by not running an unlicensed online business itself but promoting Curacao-licensed operators to the visitors of its website.

Breach of Statutes to Keep up With the Times

According to recent online reports, the NGCB (Nevada Gaming Control Board) has filed a complaint against land-based operator BCH Gaming Reno for disciplinary action. The operator runs the Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Reno and it is reportedly being charged with two breaches of the local gambling statutes as well as a breaching of the 1961 Wire Act for illegally promoting offshore operators that were licensed in Curacao.

According to the complaint, in September 2016, two links were added to the official website of Boomtown Casino underneath banners stating “Play Even When Away!” and “Play Online”, which when clicked redirected users to offshore gambling sites that offered free casino games.  Allegedly, the casino added the links to stay in touch with modern gaming trends and offer its visitors free casino games, much like the social casinos that were expanding fast at the time throughout the land-based industry.

Reportedly, since the operator had no interactive gaming licenses with the NGCB and hadn’t wanted to pay for one, for unspecified reasons, it chose a free-play alternative from Curacao operators. However, the problem was that these sites also offered unlicensed real money games to US players.

15 Gambling Sites “Promoted”

As an official investigation found, the links used on Boomtown’s website redirected visitors to around 15 online sites which were associated with Deck Media or Affiliate Edge – two companies that are licensed and based in Curacao. Out of this number, 11 sites were found to offer real money wagers apart from free playing and 3 of the sites were online casinos that accept players from the US.

Allegedly, BCH Gaming received affiliate commissions for referring customers to the sites, a number of which even featured ads for Boomtown Casino. But after several months of engaging in this practice, the NGCB was notified of the activity by a concerned customer who triggered the investigation.

The subsequent inspection found that the control over the online domain of the casino was almost exclusively left to a single employee, a graphic designer who “had little, if any” knowledge of the local gaming laws. Since this is an unusual case for the gambling commission, the NGCB is yet to announce in what way the operators will be penalized.

It is surprising to see a Nevada casino operating “rogue” online operations instead of acquiring a license, considering how much potential lies in the online sector.  Namely, according to a 2018 report by Juniper, the online gambling industry is expected to grow significantly in the future, driven in great part by American operators. This year alone, online gambling revenue on a global scale is expected to grow by 11.4% while by 2022 the amount of online wagers is predicted to grow even up to $1 trillion.

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