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GeoComply Testimony: iGaming Location Technology
6th February, 20:18GeoComply recently provided preliminary testimony before Washington state senators on behalf of licensed U.S. iGaming interests. The company's VP of Regulatory Affairs Lindsay Slader reassured lawmakers that online gambling geolocation technology is effective in ring-fencing real money wagers.
On January 21st, GeoComply Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Lindsay Slader appeared before Washington State Senate Labor & Commerce Committee to provide testimony concerning geolocation technology and its role within the current regulated U.S. iGaming/online sports betting market.
The following video summary contains legislative proposals that have yet to be passed. It does not reflect current law within the state of Washington.
However, the preliminary testimony outlined below does provide a general indicator of how GeoComply's services may be utilized currently (or in the future) to restrict the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and block access to patrons who are attempting to gamble online from outside the virtual borders of an authorized iGaming state.
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(0:00-0:52) Intro: GeoComply VP of Regulatory Affairs Lindsay Slader
(0:52-1:10) British Columbia has licensed online "parlay betting system" through its lottery
(1:10-1:47) Slader testifies that states must consider the Federal Wire Act along with the UIGEA in order to be in full compliance with current law
"Under the federal laws that exist like the Wire Act; like the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act -- essentially states need to be their own island. You cannot have cross-border wagering occurring, and therefore there's this requirement to have a virtual geo-fencing system that in effect 'fences-in' the internet to allow something like sports wagering to be legal should Washington decide to do that."
(1:47-2:20) Access to individual states, tribal lands, or even land-based casinos can be restricted
(2:20-3:01) Real time geolocation monitoring of New Jersey online sports betting/iGaming market
(3:01-4:14) GeoComply embedded software collects location data and detects location spoofing tools
(4:14-4:59) Software identifies "type of device" being uses as well as individuals who are blocked
(4:59-5:36) Geolocation technology has become very accurate in pinpointing one's location
(5:36-7:11) WA State Senator Steve Conway is "skeptical" about geo-fending technology and its accuracy
"There's a gentle balance to be struck between compliance risk versus usability, right? You want people to be able to play as close to the border as possible -- especially in these very densely populated areas like the Hudson River, but also ensuring that no one can get in from out of state. So the idea is, as you approach the border -- and you can still move when you're mid-session betting, right? You can be riding a train. You could be connected to the internet and the checks will speed up as you approach that border are are designed to essentially cut you off by the time that you get there. So no one is going to be able to wager if they're past that center line. It's still in the water going to New York. They're going to be cut off right before there. No one is betting in New York City. No one is betting in Vancouver or Washington on the Oregon Lottery sports betting product at all."
(7:11-7:32) GeoComply does not possess identification data on users who pass through its system
(7:32-8:12) Those who attempt to circumvents controls can be immediately geo-located and traced
(8:12-9:25) Controls for detecting and thwarting proxy betting
"Usually we can see someone who is 'account sharing' -- meaning the person that's attempting to bet is in New York. They log-in. Maybe they check out the bets and then a minute later someone logs-in from a computer in New Jersey on that same account and they attempt to place a bet. So we have controls in place that when people 'jump' unreasonably large distances in short periods, they'll be proactively prevented from wagering if that should occur. And then the operator may also have their own preventive measures in place to ensure that you can't be logged-in to one accounnt from two different places at the same time."