Future Tense

A Casino Sent Promotional Emails to Compulsive Gamblers Because of a Software Glitch

Not what you want to see if you are recovering from a gambling problem.

Photo by Christopher Furlong /Getty Images

Welp, this is not what you wanna hear. Because of a “back-end software issue,” Caesars Entertainment in New Jersey emailed promotions to 250 people who self-identify as compulsive online gamblers and are trying to avoid exactly this type of temptation by adding themselves to a do-not-send list.

New Jersey hasn’t had to fine anyone for infractions since online gambling became legal in November 2013. But, as Ars Technica reports, officials are reprimanding Caesars with a $10,000 fine because of the computer glitch incident. (Delaware and Nevada are the other two states that have legalized online gambling.)


Seth Palansky, a vice president of Caesars, said in a statement, “The issue that caused our system to inadvertently target these patrons has been fixed and we have had no incidents since. … We can assure the public that this lapse on our part was not an intentional targeting of these patrons, but simply a back-end software issue that failed to properly scrub our database before certain mailings.”

Uh-huh. It’s a lot of jargon that basically means they didn’t take the right people off the list. Super. And apparently it’s not the first time Caesars has made this type of mistake. In May the company was fined $3,000 because it didn’t include 1-800-GAMBLER, the compulsive gambling hotline, prominently enough on its billboards.