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Gaming Innovation Group Fined For iGaming Geolocation Issue

Operators providing online gambling services in New Jersey must adhere to strict guidelines and regulations set by the state’s regulators. If any violations occur, operators can face steep fines. Just this week, it was made public that the Gaming Innovation Group was hit with a $25,000 fine after a gambler located out of state accessed their site in New Jersey and placed a sports bet.

The Offense

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement gave the Gaming Innovation Group a $25,000 fine over a $29 wager that was lost by a player located in Nevada. The company offers online gambling via the Atlantic City Hard Rock Casino and saw a flaw occur last summer involving their geolocation technology.

A player was allowed to access the gambling site in New Jersey operated by the Hard Rock from the state of Nevada. The player was allowed to change data that falsely indicated that his location was in New Jersey, when he was actually on the other side of the country.

Last July, a geolocation company was checking the technology used by the Hard Rock when the issue was detected. The system was then shut down and a fix provided by the next day to ensure the same instance didn’t happen again.

When it comes to New Jersey online gambling, players have to be located within the state’s borders to take part. Geolocation technology uses several layers to determine the location of an individual that is trying to place a wager. In this instance, the player was able to trick the system and place a wager. The company has stated this was a one-time occurrence and it was reported and fixed as quickly as possible.

In a statement, Gaming Innovation Group said that the incident was due to a technical vulnerability that was discovered quickly and reported to the regulatory within the first week that the company was live in the state. According to the company, the individual had technical knowledge and was able to access the front end debugger and change their location, pretending to be in the state to wager.

Geolocation Technology

Geolocation technology plays a major role in the operations of online gambling in the US. The way that the industry is created, states must pass legislation within their borders. Geolocation technology is then used in states where online gambling is legalized. The technology determines that the player is located where they say they are and access is granted to the site.

If the player is found to be in another state, then access is denied. Because of issue such as this with the Hard Rock, opponents of online gambling feel they have a fighting point. However, such companies as the Hard Rock are quickly acting to ensure any problem is taken care of. Just like any industry, there will be kinks to work out or problems to solve.

Unfortunately for the online gambling operators, such issues can result in the loss of funds. Because of the breach, Hard Rock had to pay the hefty $25,000 fine, which is a huge difference from the $29 that was wagered by the player.

Other fines have been issued in recent months due to other violations of gaming regulations. The Borgata was recently fined $7,500 for taking sports bets that were prohibited. Operators are not allowed to offer wagers involving college basketball games with New Jersey teams or within venues of the state. The Borgata unfortunately accepted wagers during a Clemson and Mississippi State game and Florida State vs Connecticut, with the games having been played in Newark.