GamesBeat

Spoof-proof location authentication to help legitimize mobile gambling

As states move to legalize mobile gambling in the U.S., verifying exactly where someone is located will become crucial. You can place a bet on a football game if you’re in the state of Nevada, for example, but not if you’re outside of it.

That will change as more states authorize sports betting. But for now, mobile gambling entities have to rely on companies such as Locaid, which is announcing today that it will provide “unspoofable” location authentication for Cantor Gaming, the mobile sports-wagering arm of Cantor Fitzgerald. The Locaid technology is a critical part of the ecosystem that can support online gambling, which is expected to be a huge industry in the U.S. in the not-so-distant future.

Rip Gerber, chief executive at Miami- and San Francisco-based Locaid, said in a panel at the Global iGaming Summit yesterday that hackers have learned how to spoof, or fake, their locations. That’s because it is easy to circumvent the security in global positioning systems (GPS) and Wi-Fi-based location authentication methods. But Locaid works with the carriers to fix a mobile user’s location based on the phone’s interaction with cellphone towers.

Gerber said that Locaid’s “geo-fencing” method meets the requirements of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. You need carrier verification to show that a mobile device is inside a state’s borders, and Locaid’s applications programming interface gives developers the ability to integrate location into their apps. Thus, it helps companies such as Cantor Gaming extend gambling beyond the casino floor. The market for mobile wagering in Nevada may seem like a small one now, but it is expected to expand over time as more states authorize online gambling in order to cash in on much-needed tax revenues.

“To comply with state law, it was critical to ensure a mobile user’s location for mobile gaming and safeguard against today’s sophisticated spoofing technologies; Locaid enabled us to meet this challenge,” said Paul Williams, chief technology officer of Cantor Gaming. “Locaid is the only compliant network location-based solution for mobile sports betting in Nevada, and their services allow us to extend our reach of mobile gaming to the entire state.”

The Cantor Gaming app is available on Android.


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