Wheeling Island Casino Sportsbook Operator Gamewise Fined $7K For Self-Exclusion Error

Written By Dan Holmes on October 2, 2023 - Last Updated on October 3, 2023
Image representing individuals self-excluding for a story about a West Virginia casino sports betting operator getting fined for sending emails to self-excluded players.

Many of us have made a misstep over email, but a communication mistake by Gamewise has cost it $7,000, after the West Virginia Lottery Commission delivered a fine on the company.

In August, Gamewise sent promotional emails to 700 people who had previously requested to self-exclude from such communications, along with its betting platform.

Gamewise, which is contracted to handle sports betting for the Wheeling Island Casino, admitted to the error. The lottery commission decided to fine the company $100 for each infraction.

West Virginia casino sees sports betting provider receive $7,000 fine

West Virginia state gaming law requires operators to adhere to strict guidelines in regards to communication with customers. Those registered players who select to self-exclude cannot be contacted under any circumstance.

Gamewise explained that a technical glitch led to the emails being sent to a list of customers from the Wheeling Casino, which is operated by Delaware North. The operator said that though the emails were sent, the company did not allow any of the consumers who had previously self-excluded to place bets.

The casino location offers its West Virginia online sportsbook through Betly, which runs on the Gamewise platform. Wheeling Island, along with its sister property, Mardi Gras, also utilize the Betly brand for their West Virginia online casino, as well.

Gamewise did not catch self-exclusion mistake for over a month

A spokesman for the WV Lottery Commission expressed disappointment that Gamewise took more than 45 days to realize its mistake, which it did self-report.

“While it was a programming error – it wasn’t something they did intentionally – we need to show that West Virginia takes those types of things seriously. Because if people have a gaming problem we want to make sure they are protected,” West Virginia State Lottery Director John Myers told WV Metro News last week.

According to Gamewise spokesman, Todd San Jule, this was the first such communication mistake for the company.

“It’s a reputational hit,” he explained during a commission meeting. “We take responsibility. We’ve put right measures in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

West Virginia launched sports betting in 2018. State regulations allow the WV Lottery Commission to levy fines and penalties up to $50,000.

Gamewise describes itself as a “gaming infrastructure solution” that also develops gaming apps and provides marketing solutions for clients in the industry. The company, along with the other operators licensed within the Mountain State, must also adhere to the West Virginia responsible gambling guidelines that have been put in place.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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