With the legalization of online gaming and sports betting across the country, a whole new type of unclaimed property has been generated that companies need to be aware of and understand. This new type of unclaimed property is referred to as an online account.
Online accounts are where online gamers and sports bettors have their monetary winnings directed. Many unclaimed property departments have determined online gaming accounts can be ruled unclaimed property once they have been inactive for a period of 3 to 5 years.
In most states, an online gaming account is considered inactive if the owner has not logged into it for 3 to 5 years. However, in some states, logging in is insufficient to consider the account active. Instead, the owner must make a deposit or withdrawal or place a bet for their account to be considered active.
Online gaming outlets, or casinos with their own online sportsbooks, are now required by law to follow the same rules and regulations for reporting unclaimed property as any other business.
Therefore, they must conduct due diligence, which involves sending a letter informing the rightful owner of the unclaimed property that their account is considered inactive. In this letter, the online gaming outlets must also explain to the owner that if they do not take any measures to make it active, it will be turned over to the state of their last known address. They should also let the owner know if their account is turned over, they will be required to file a claim with that state to have their funds returned.
It is also important for online gaming companies to be aware that some states they may operate in restrict or prohibit the charging of fees to owners of inactive accounts. Therefore, an owner cannot be charged the normal fees they would be subject to if their account is inactive when they are dispersed.
However, online gaming companies are not the only ones who need to be aware of abiding by unclaimed property rules and regulations. Brick-and-mortar casinos must also have an awareness and understanding of their unclaimed property responsibilities and how they vary not only by the states in which they were established but also by the states where they will be reporting unclaimed property.
It is important for these casinos to note in some states, for example, uncashed slot vouchers and unclaimed jackpots may be considered unclaimed property. At Dunbar, one of our highly trained consultants can help casinos determine exactly which unclaimed property laws apply to them and help them comply with them during the reporting process.
Furthermore, online fantasy sports companies should also be aware they may be holding unclaimed property in some states and, therefore, need to abide by its reporting guidelines. Our consultants at Dunbar are also able to help fantasy sports companies determine exactly what unclaimed property they are in possession of and how and where they must report it.
Overall, it is important that online gaming companies, like any other companies or financial institutions holding inactive accounts, have unclaimed property policies and procedures in place to provide a consistent and sustainable means to be in compliance. Also, having these policies and procedures enacted in advance of going through the process of reporting unclaimed property can help guard online gaming companies against internal fraud. Unfortunately, internal fraud can easily happen when dealing with accounts that have held an inactive status for years.
Luckily, Dunbar’s consultants have an extensive breadth of experience in writing unclaimed property reporting policies and procedures for gaming operations. Also, as a bonus, they are highly experienced at reporting gaming proceeds to the states. Therefore, online gaming companies, brick-and-mortar casinos, or online fantasy sports companies that are reporting unclaimed property for the first or twentieth time should consider reaching out to Dunbar. Our consultants will streamline the process, taking care of all unclaimed property reporting needs and ensuring it is all reported correctly the first time. This will relieve the company of this pressure and allow it to more quickly get back to doing what it does best.
Dunbar is a reputable provider of unclaimed property compliance services, offering a comprehensive suite of solutions to help organizations remain compliant with all applicable laws. With a professional team with decades of experience, Dunbar is the ideal choice for businesses seeking a reliable and knowledgeable provider for their unclaimed property compliance needs.