The Ohio Casino Control Commission recently licensed the first geolocation and ID verification services compliance company in Ohio.
GeoComply, a Vancouver-based company, provides these types of verification services along with multi-layer protection against numerous types of location data manipulation. Geolocation verification will be crucial to a smooth Ohio sports betting roll out on Jan. 1, 2023, as every new user will need to confirm that they are located within Ohio’s borders in order to use a sports betting app.
Founded in 2011, GeoComply’s app, GeoGuard, detects potentially bad traffic from VPNs, public proxies, Tor, hosting/data centers, VPN data centers and SmartDNS Proxy.
The app also detects and blocks advanced location spoofing techniques such as proxy over VPN and residual IP hijacking.
IDComply app verifies age and ID of players
IDComply, another app in the GeoComply arsenal, will also come into play. It’s the only service in the state that covers age and identity verification. The app provides links to age and identification verification services through the existing GeoComply Application Programming Interface.
Businesses and sportsbook operators offering Know Your Customer licenses must obtain a supplier license. GeoComply’s products now cover that. GeoComply’s SVP of Compliance Lindsay Slader said the company is ready for the Jan. 1 launch in Ohio.
“We are delighted to get our license approved early in the process. Compliance deadlines are coming quickly, and we are in the strongest position to ensure our customers meet requirements and submit complete and final geolocation procedures by November 2nd.”
How sportsbooks use geofencing
Geofencing uses the Global Positioning System or Radio Frequency Identification to define geographical boundaries. The system is used in various end-user industries. Most notably, it’s used in banking, financial services, insurance, defense, government, health care, and also retail industries.
In the world of sports betting, geofencing means creating a digital fence around a geographic area. Sportsbook operators typically use geofencing in one of two ways:
- Permitting bets in legal areas
- Blocking bets from illegal areas
The technology provides instant identification of where a bettor is located. If a bettor tries to place a wager outside of a geofenced area, that wager will be automatically denied. Some states have their entire geographic jurisdiction under geofence for mobile sports betting purposes. In other states, geofencing restricts counties that don’t permit sports betting.
Louisiana, for instance, has 64 parishes, but only 56 of them permit wagering on sports. That means Louisianans who desire to place bets must physically be in a legal parish to use the platform.
App will be a must for Ohio bettors
In accordance with Ohio state laws, sportsbooks will have to ensure that bettors are in a legal area.
To abide by this legal and regulatory framework, sportsbooks will require the GeoComply Player Location Check plug-in to be used to pinpoint users’ physical location via their wireless internet connection. While the GeoComply browser is browser-specific, it requires only a one-time installation to avoid any interruptions going forward.
Ohio still on track for Jan. 1 launch
On Jan. 1, mobile sports betting will launch in Ohio. Big players like DraftKings and FanDuel will be among two dozen or so betting apps to be operational immediately at midnight on Dec. 31.
The state has licensed 16 retail sportsbooks and will soon license a few others. Each retail location can partner with up to two online sportsbooks to offer sports betting across the state.
In addition, the commission is working through hundreds of applications for Ohio businesses to host sports betting kiosks. The Ohio Lottery has pre-approved over 1,300 businesses, and the commission has formally licensed 811. The kiosks will also go live on Jan. 1, 2023.