Shortly after Delaware and Nevada entered into a historic pact to provide the first multi-state online poker offering in the United States, a company specializing in geolocation services has been selected to work with operators in both states. Geolocation services are mandatory for all online poker operators in the United States, which mandate that only individuals from specific areas can access their sites, with all others being blocked. Locaid LLC will be providing these services for both states, becoming the first vendor to provide geolocation under the guidelines of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement regulatory requirements.
What is Geolocation?
Every state where online poker has been legalized in the United States has mandated that only those located within the state’s borders can login and play. This requires sites to do an IP lookup of everyone connecting to the site, determine if that IP comes from a valid geological location, and then either let the person in to play, or force them out. These services are common on the Internet, used for restricting access, or providing marketing information specifically for a region.
What makes this geolocation service unique is that it is the first time in the United States where more than one state is being allowed into the pool. This requires Locaid LLC to consider not just one state’s legislation, but two, which demands a nuance not seen before. This service also represents one of the first technological milestones accomplished to make interstate online poker a reality.
Locaid will enable online poker sites in each state to leverage a “Compliance API” to adhere to regulatory requirements. This API integrates with the software and “talks” to the Locaid service to run queries on visitors to poker sites. Locaid stated on their corporate website that New Jersey, should it also enter into the multi-state agreement, can also be integrated extremely quickly.
Locaid president and CEO Rip Gerber says that the plumbing with mobile location systems, operators, and regulators has actually been in the works for years. He has publicly congratulated Nevada and Delaware for offering a customer-friendly, secure geolocation service that can cross state lines. Gerber says that Locaid looks forward to working with other state regulatory teams and operators to bring onboard them in 2014; he says that they are ready to go should New Jersey want to enter into the accord with Nevada and Delaware, but no comment has come forth yet on their status moving forward.
The addition of Locaid and other industry-leading technology vendors adds weight to the view that regulation does in fact help protect the consumer. It also demonstrates that the industry itself is more than willing to comply with regulations to ensure customer security and safety. Locaid, according to its website, is used at every real-money gambling and poker site in the United States, including Station Casinos, Caesars, 888, the World Series of Poker (Harrah’s), and William Hill.