iGaming North America – comment on Geo-Location by Travis Foley
There is a risk that operators going online in Nevada will be held back unless they arrange their solution quickly. Although the online poker platform will always be the main priority, location technology cannot be a last-minute consideration. Travis Foley, vice-president of operations at one of these labs, BMM Americas, says: “It is critical that a geolocation solution be fully integrated and operational as part of an overall interactive system when it is submitted to a lab for certification testing. An independent lab would be unable to certify that the overall system complies with the minimum jurisdictional requirements without all of the necessary components.” And if a gaming system’s methods for detecting a player’s location were proven to be seriously inadequate, the consequences would be highly frustrating for operators.
“If the deficiencies were insurmountable and required a gaming company to select a different method or provider for geolocation, there could be significant delays due to the work necessary to integrate and test a new solution,” Foley adds. While geolocation will be essential as the US regulates on a state-by-state basis this year, this in no way means that it would become less important should a federal solution be agreed in the future. A key political reason for regulating egaming is the tax revenues it would generate, and without a geolocation solution, there would be no accurate way of determining which state should receive them, as Matthew Katz, CEO at CAMS, explains: “Let’s say Nevada and Delaware were to do a multi-state compact, where Delaware residents could wager or play poker at a Nevada operator’s site. The question ultimately that’s going to have to be determined
in federal legislation is if the player is in Delaware but the operator is in Nevada, who gets the tax revenue? So from that perspective, the concept of internet and mobile geolocation are equally critical to both a federal and state-by-state scenario.” Whichever way regulation progresses in the US, geolocation will always be an essential part of casinos’ online offerings. With the software needing to be integrated before submitting the gaming system to a testing lab, there should be no delay for operators recently or soon-to-be licensed in Nevada and beyond and with an eye on any regulatory developments in other states.