By Buzz Daly
Special to The Sports Network
Hi-Tech Mobile Gaming Location Provider
Keeps Bettors From Making Illegal Wagers
(Sports Network) -
Despite competition, Nevada in general and Las Vegas in particular is still Mecca for sports bettors. Full service sportsbooks offer punters an experience equivalent to that of being a kid in a candy store.
Technology has opened new vistas for the folks who keep score with money. Computers, tablets, smart phones are among the popular gadgets that provide convenience, freedom and mobility for today's bettors.
Although sports books are still crowded on weekends, there are many other options for handicappers who wish to be in action while viewing the games at a different venue than a casino. Bettors, who put in their plays away from the books using funds posted in an account are a growing market for bet shops which seek to expand their customer base.
But with all of the available options that now give bettors the ability to initiate action from virtually anywhere within Nevada, casinos still can't prevent some players from trying to game the system. An iron-clad rule imposed on the books by gaming regulators is that all action must be originated from within Nevada. But it seems that certain bettors are determined to try to circumvent the Nevada-only regulation.
A sportsbook's license can be revoked if it handles bets that come from outside the state. But that is hardly a deterrent for some players, who insist on trying to hack into the system. So far, that has been an exercise in futility due to the efforts of a vendor that gives bet shops the ability to comply with the regulation and offer this much appreciated service to customers.
Surprisingly, there is only a single company that has staked out this business of offering what it calls "spoof-proof" mobile location data. Locaid, based in San Francisco, provides accurate location information for mobile gaming apps, and is approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
I spoke with Locaid's president and CEO, Rip Gerber, when he visited Las Vegas recently. He cited an impressive list of clients, including Cantor Gaming and William Hill who rely on Locaid to assure the books that they are accepting only wagers from legal jurisdictions.
Gerber cited the use of three sources of location as the key to Locaid's ability to provide secure reliable data to the books: GPS; WiFi, and cell towers. While two of the location authenticators are extremely accurate, they can be spoofed, admitted Gerber. Cell towers are impossible to trick due to triangulation, he explained.
Interestingly, the company doesn't lobby state or federal governments to allow wagering. Gerber said that it concentrates its efforts on dealing with clients and regulators. The lack of competition, he noted, could be attributed to the company's marketing approach. "Our technology is superior, but we also rely on trust, integrity and performance to win business. People buy from people. This is a cozy industry. Everybody knows everybody," Gerber pointed out.
The benefits to players are enormous. Now the books can offer us the opportunity to bet from anywhere. As a Vegas resident, I enjoy the ability to bet from home, without having to drive to a sports book. I also can wait until just before kickoff to make a play, and not worry about being in a slow moving line and getting shut out.
Now if I could just find a way to punch in only winners from my La-Z-Boy, I could really take advantage of the digital revolution.
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