Sportsbooks limiting winning — and, sometimes, losing — bettors is a topic that has been discussed plenty in New Jersey and the rest of the legal sports betting world.
But as with most things in this industry, it has remained a mostly insular issue.
Just got limited in a Sportsbook for the first time. At first I was like damn 😎 but now it’s more like damn 😢
— Chone Figgins (@AltBurnerAcct) January 21, 2023
That may be changing, however, as evidenced by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission discussing the topic — one the commissioners admit they know little about, but are interested in learning.
Another place where this may be changing is in mainstream media. And look no further than Plainsboro’s Aaron Ernst for proof.
Ernst refers to himself as a “skilled” sports bettor who has made more than $100,000 plying his trade. He’s part of the group of bettors who work together at inplayLIVE, a site that bills itself as a “sports betting investing community.”
Opinions vary regarding operations like these, but Ernst says the group has been a godsend for his bankroll.
“The online coaching program we have is over 1,000 members,” Ernst told NJ Online Gambling. “Most of the bets we make are live, and the founder goes on Zoom and tells us what to do in real time. You can join this group, I’m a paying member who have been promoted as a coach and mentor.”
And Ernst has been limited at every single sportsbook in New Jersey as a result, he says.
“There used to be serious runway,” he said. “Now, there’s zero runway. Since this summer, since the economy shifted, they’ve taken a very strict, ‘let the losers lose and kick out the winners.’ My limits are super teeny-tiny.”
It’s a story we’ve heard before. Bettor gets limited. But Ernst isn’t taking this lying down. In fact, he’s seeking to publicize it in hopes it gets the attention of New Jersey lawmakers.
Going to the papers
In fact, he just had an op-ed published in The Star-Ledger. The headline isn’t exactly what the sportsbooks would want to see: “A New Jersey sports bettor tells all and issues a warning: Don’t do it.”
No wiggle room on that headline, there.
A New Jersey sports bettor tells all and issues a warning: Don’t do it | Opinion https://t.co/oPKpB9HVnU
— NJ_Opinion (@NJ_Opinion) January 18, 2023
In the piece, Ernst is clear: If you start betting and show any skill whatsoever, you’ll soon find yourself limited.
“I don’t expect the days of my five-figure nightly winnings to resume,” Ernst wrote. “But I hope that knowing the lopsidedness of casino contracts — open-ended profits for us, restrictions when you start to win — will open the eyes of young people tempted by the promotional glitz, as I was. They are gateways to addictive gambling, yet prevention and treatment are woefully underfunded, and the battle is more unequal than ever.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Lawmakers to listen?
So what’s next for Ernst?
“All I can do is try and get legislators to remove these limits,” he said. “It’s really, really unfair. I don’t want to put myself in the crosshairs, but look what I did: I put myself in the crosshairs because no one else is willing to. And it’s a major problem that requires media attention.”
@tonybucco Senator Bucco – please look into the unfair practices of the NJ Sports Betting Operators as highlighted by @Aaron_Ernst. @capjack2000 & @BillKrackman are experts in the field who can provide additional examples of their unfair business practices and questionable ethics https://t.co/3hl0iVPLdd
— Neil Vanscoy (@NeilVanScoy) January 19, 2023
And it also requires others to get involved.
“People who are complacent and not talking about this might be part of the problem,” he said. “Legislators need to know, people need to tell them. I wrote my story, and it took me over a year to get published. I was turned down by other newspapers before The Star-Ledger accepted it. I don’t know what’s going to make the difference, but it’s unfair what’s happened and I’m not done with this.”