Tennessee-based Action 24/7 has licence suspended
Action 24/7, the sportsbook based in the state of Tennessee, has now had its licence suspended, rendering it the first ever online sports betting operator in the United States to do so.
The Tennessee Education Lottery, the local regulator in the state, decided to act after it noticed some suspicious activity from players such as credit card fraud. The decision to annul the licence was taken during a last-minute meeting.
Danny DiRienzo, the regulator’s sports betting investigator, took a look at the abnormal activity and obtained proof on one specific player who had made 184 deposits, with some of them being over $10,000, and that were done from seven different credit cards of which none were under his name.
DiRienzo also acquired some files that encompassed 22 other reports such as “very serious” cases of proxy betting. The investigator noted that he was unsure whether the failings were only applicable to the operator or its suppliers as well.
The board was contemplating allowing the operator to keep accepting bets during the investigation of the suspicious activity, however it ended up deciding against that for a lack of proper control to protect against harm, therefore it suspended the operator’s licence.
William Carver, a member of the board, stated:
“Due to the circumstances we have identified, the risk to players, the risk to non-player victims as a result of fraud, the fact we did have a week’s delay in receiving notice, the fact that minimum internal controls are in suspicion, I would make a motion to indefinitely suspend the license of Action 24/7.”
There were three members of the board who voted in favour of the suspension, with none voting against and one abstaining. This licence suspension will last until the regulator is able to be assured that the proper controls have been introduced.
Tina Hodges, chief executive of Action 24/7, said:
“The board today indefinitely suspended Action 24/7’s sports betting operator license for suspicious player deposit activity. This suspicious activity was detected quickly by Action staff and Action swiftly suspended the involved player accounts. Action instituted additional controls to curb the activity, and no further such activity has occurred since.
Yet, the Board relied upon unfounded fears of future speculative recurrences of the activity, and took draconian action just as the NCAA Tournament is beginning. Obviously, we are disappointed in the Board’s decision, but will continue to work with TEL staff and seek all other avenues of relief to have the suspension lifted quickly so that the people of Tennessee may continue to enjoy wagering on the Action 24/7 sportsbook.”