Geocomply: Ontario attracting (unwanted) attention from around the world

April 10, 2023 8:46 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
April 10, 2023 8:46 PM

Last week, Ontario celebrated the first anniversary of a regulated igaming market, with some pretty bullish numbers: $35.6 billion in total wagers over 12 months, $1.4 billion in total gaming revenue, and 1.6 million active player accounts, according to iGaming Ontario.

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According to GeoComply, Ontario’s market is attracting attention from around the world, but not a good kind.

The Vancouver-based company provides fraud prevention and cybersecurity solutions that detect location fraud and help verify a user’s true identity. Companies like GeoComply can prove to an online sportsbook that bettors are physically located where they claim to be, more important in our age where sports betting is legal in some U.S. states and not in others. In Canada, while the market is open in Ontario, that isn’t the case in other provinces and territories. The standard age to place a sports bet in most U.S. states is 21. In Ontario, it’s 19.

Aggregate data from GeoComply’s services over the first 12 months of the open regulated market showed that more than 500,000 users attempted to log in 11 million times to Ontario operators from around the world. More than 54,000 users from within the U.S. attempted to log in 305,000 times and upwards of 3.3 million location-spoofing (masking your location) attempts into Ontario operators occurred from around the world.

GeoComply also revealed more than 219,000 devices were prevented from gambling for fraud reasons. The company detected 1,045 fraud rings affecting multiple operators.

“Ontario is such a large market and the opening of any market results in bonus offerings attracting fraudsters,” says GeoComply’s senior director of risk services, Danny DiRienzo. “This, coupled with the traditional gray-market operations in Canada, resulted in experienced fraudsters hunting bonuses from day one, as anyone with a set of stolen identities could collect bonuses from several operators.

“During the last 90 days, a third of GeoComply’s fraud investigations have involved Ontario operators, despite Ontario accounting for far less than a third of our overall traffic. The investigations have affected most Ontario operators, so fraudsters are targeting almost everybody.”