Legal U.S. Sports Betting: geolocation compliance post-PASPA

What does the PASPA strike down mean for sports betting compliance?

On May 14th 2018, the the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), enabling legal sports betting in the US. With the PASPA strike down, there is an inherent need for sportsbooks to utilize geolocation technology for regulatory compliance purposes.

A new era of location detection

We have all heard of The Internet of Things – the term used to describe how the internet has gone from a desktop computer at home or office, to the near ubiquitous network of connected devices today. From our phones to our cars and our TV. Everything is connected.

However, with the internet of things has also come the need for “The internet of places”.

States’ Rights concerns as well as the requirement for National Sovereignty over what can and can’t be accessed on a territorial basis have given rise to the need to determine with a very high degree of certainty, what jurisdiction an internet-connected consumer is governed by.
Historically, the notion that you could indeed draw geographical boundaries on the internet would have been laughable; such was the weakness of the original technologies and the availability of cheap and easy methods to fake your location online.

The changing regulatory landscape of online wagering

With the advent of regulated iGaming in the US in 2013, states wishing to participate meaningfully in iGaming today have taken the initiative in deploying stringent geolocation and security protocols in order to geofence their services to within their own state boundaries. By doing so, they act within the clear letter and spirit of the Federal Law in UIGEA and the Wire Act which requires such rigorous geolocation tools as a prerequisite of operating within a particular jurisdiction.

GeoComply is proud to be the geolocation compliance solution chosen by licensed operators throughout the U.S. to uphold state regulations and their geographic borders. This also means that we not only enable eligible traffic to access wagering from these states, but we also block traffic from states that outlaw it, such as Utah and California.
Given the arrival of US legal sports betting in more states, the need to define physical location on the Internet has only become more significant. No matter how or in what manner such an industry may be regulated, there is now advanced geolocation technology available to powerfully filter consumer access in any shape or form that may be required. Be it to promote or restrict online access, technology is no longer an impediment to a chosen business or legislative model – it can be an indispensable tool and enabler.

GeoComply’s technology is currently in action throughout the US, processing up to 3 billion transactions per year. Our technology ensures states’ rights are respected through adequate geofencing, and business operators are equipped with advanced tools needed to uphold relevant business and compliance requirements.

PASPA and geolocation compliance for U.S. sports betting

For sports betting, our geolocation compliance solutions are designed to be highly adaptive to the constantly changing regulatory landscape. Given the volume and speed at which state level sports betting legislation is currently being proposed and passed, GeoComply’s systems are designed to turn on or off access in real time for any particular state or zone. Over 15 states have already passed legislation to allow sports betting and are now live. Several other states have pending legislation and plan to go live in the coming months and years.

By providing the means to respect sovereignty and the jurisdictional powers of a given physical territory all via the internet, geolocation technology therefore provides a necessary 2-fold function. One, to uphold the preferences and rights of any given jurisdiction seeking to enable yet contain user access within their borders. And two, to respect the wishes of any jurisdictions that choose to not participate or license such activity, or that may ban it all together. Neither can be achieved without adequately robust and adaptive geolocation tools. So if a state doesn’t want it, they don’t have to have it. Every use case has a technical solution.

To perform a geolocation, GeoComply gathers pinpoint accurate location data from multiple data sources to determine the whereabouts of the user. Then, we confirm the integrity of that data to ensure it is secure and has not been masked or tampered with, by any host of tools such as proxies, VPNs, remote desktop software, jailbroken devices, mock location settings, anonymizers, the list goes on. By the time we approve or deny a transaction, the data may have gone through over 350 checks that our compliance algorithms seek to verify.
We are not re-inventing the wheel here – everyday location sources that we’re familiar with, such as in-built phone GPS, or the wifi geolocation used to ‘check-in’ on Facebook – may be leveraged to locate the user. The main difference between these open-door tools and compliance-grade geolocation systems, is the way in which the location data is interrogated to ensure it’s secure and trusted for legal or regulatory applications.

Therefore, it should be well noted that the technology and safeguards which may be necessary if state or federal parties choose to move forward with sports betting are very capable, and in fact quite robust, to uphold such standards. GeoComply believes that all legislative and regulatory issues can easily be addressed with effective geofencing technology.

About GeoComply Solutions Inc.

Founded in 2011, GeoComply provides fraud prevention and cybersecurity solutions that detect location fraud and help verify a user’s true digital identity. Our products are based on the award-winning technologies that GeoComply developed for the highly regulated and complex U.S. online gaming and sports betting market. Beyond iGaming, GeoComply provides geolocation fraud detection solutions for streaming video broadcasters and the online banking, payments and cryptocurrency industries, building an impressive list of global customers including Amazon Prime Video, BBC, Akamai, Sightline, DraftKings, FanDuel and MGM.
The company’s software is installed on over 400 million devices worldwide and analyzes over 3 billion transactions a year, placing GeoComply in a unique position to identify and counter both current and newly emerging geolocation fraud threats.

With technology proven and refined over 10 years of development, GeoComply can accurately determine a user’s true location and whether they are attempting to mask their location using various spoofing tools and techniques. By integrating GeoComply’s solutions into their processes and risk engines, organizations are able to detect fraud earlier in a customer’s engagement, better establish their true digital identity and empower digital trust.

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