Location, Location, Location – and What That Means for Online Betting Sites

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In 2017, New Jersey made online gambling history when it fined gambling operator, Amaya, $25,000 for accepting online bets from out-of-state players. This action sent the online betting industry into a spin and spawned a new wave of technology aimed at dealing with jurisdictional geolocation.

In the USA, gambling laws can differ greatly from state to state which can make things a little complicated for visitors. Maryland is a great example of this in terms of rules and regulations. Situated in the Mid Atlantic region of America, Maryland has allowed on-site gambling (for example, casinos for many years, and, in 2022, Maryland now has 15 casinos. Despite being seen as a modern and cosmopolitan state, surprisingly, it only made online gambling legal in 2021 – and this only applies to specific approved online and retail sports betting. This means that, at present, online casinos are still against the law in Maryland and, so, visitors would do well to ensure that they don’t attempt to visit these sites when visiting the state.

Where in the world?

We often assume that sites on the world wide web are global – as the name suggests – however, it’s often nowhere near that simple. In the USA, for example, different states have different laws – which means that gambling companies and operators need to take care to ensure that their services are only being used within certain physical locations.

In the past, gambling sites would ask new users to state their location during the registration process but this is, of course, by no means foolproof. As guidelines become stricter, operators are often now required to hold licences for each specific location that they serve, as well as being held responsible for assuring that these jurisdictional rules are not breached. As with so many other things, the answer for gambling operators will come from technology.

Taking location seriously

Geolocation technology is, of course, not new, however, its use in the online betting industry is. Due to laws such as those in the United States, online betting companies are now looking to technology in the form of software and internet protocol intelligence which will:

  • Allow them to accurately confirm a user’s location at the postcode level
  • Protect personal identification to comply with data sharing laws
  • Identify gamblers who are using proxy VPN servers to try to mask their true location
  • Optimize mobile use

While IP geolocation is commonly used at the moment, many gambling operators feel that Wi-Fi geolocation is more accurate and are choosing to use this, along with cellular positioning (used to determine the position of a cellular device) in order to more effectively determine a user’s location.

While geo-location tools can certainly help to reduce issues for online casinos, this is, unfortunately, far from foolproof. In the last few years, there has been a marked rise in the use of fake or ‘spoofing’ apps. These apps are created to allow users to deliberately change the location reported by their device in order to either fool somebody or to gain access to services that may not be available to them within their own region. Surprisingly, these devices are not actually illegal in most countries – and neither is the act of changing the projected GPS location of your advice. Having said that, many businesses will take an extremely dim view of Geo spoofing and, some organizations and even governments will prosecute if they find that these apps have been used for the sole purpose of deception.

The most lenient laws

While we’ve talked about some countries which have pretty tough rules on gambling, others are decidedly laxer. Finland, Argentina, and Bulgaria are known for their incredibly relaxed gambling laws, as is Malta which also just happens to be the most popular tax haven in Europe.

Some countries have tough laws, some have lenient laws and, some countries have laws on gambling which are just downright odd, including:

North Carolina – Most people see Bingo as a pretty harmless game, mainly enjoyed by ladies in their senior years – but not so in North Carolina which has a distinctly strange law banning Bingo on any two consecutive days.

Thailand – In Thailand, you are not permitted to be in possession of more than 120 playing cards at any given time.

Kentucky – The strangest of all laws – In Kentucky, you can actually sue the casino or website if you lose more than $5 – and, you can even sue for an amount larger than the amount that you lost.

Conclusion

For online gambling companies, like LV BET kazino online, the future will be all about striking a balance between gaining information about users – and staying within the data sharing rules and, technology will most certainly be the answer. With users becoming savvier and savvier regarding finding ways to get around rules, betting companies need to stay on their toes by harnessing the power of the very latest technology to avoid costly and embarrassing penalties.