Geolocation is a positioning system. It is a process where in order to locate your current physical location. This is a requirement to allow players to play with regard to jurisdiction gaming laws and in accordance with regulatory standards. Overall, geolocation has made it possible for a casino website or mobile device to determine its user’s physical location. And on the other hand: geolocation makes it possible to restrict certain casino sites’ usage to players outside of a specific area.
When online gambling became available to all players age 18 or 21 and older (country dependent), the casino websites had to be able to verify that their players. To ensure this procedure, third party geolocation services do this job, also indicated as a ‘Know Your Customer’, or KYC, verification service. There are multiple geolocation services to serve gambling websites, such as Central Account Management System (CAMS), xyVerify, GeoComply, and Locaid.
• To prove their location players must download a WiFi plug-in from the website where they would like to play. You must install this plugin to login, deposit and play real money in your web browser successfully. This plug-in helps to verify their location by giving a stronger, directed signal right back to the geolocation service’s server. It is a piece of software that must be downloaded to the player’s computer or smartphone before logging into a casino website.
• Another way of players’ locations is through cell tower service. This type of verification is accurate within about a mile’s space. WiFi-based verification is much more accurate.
• Although it sounds simple, geolocation is actually a complicated process. There are several technical solutions to verify your location, including IP address and Wi-Fi signal triangulation.
• To visit geolocated casino websites, a WiFi capability on your computer and/or on your mobile phone is required. You don’t need to be connected to a WiFi network however it must be turned on your devices for us to ensure you’re (for example) in New York and so being able to play. If you might use a public WiFi hotspot to access the internet, it is still possible to play geo-located.
• Smartphones and tablets have GPS chips inside them, which use satellite data to calculate their position on earth. These satellite signals can reach mobile devices easily and accurately provide a player with his geographic location. Sometimes, these satellite signals can’t reach mobile devices (tablets and/or phones) and then use the signals from nearby cell phone service towers to approximate the device’s position. This is a slower, less accurate process, but is usually able to determine a device’s location fairly closely.
• Laptop and desktop computers handle geolocation a little bit differently. When you use the internet on your computer, your browser determines your location by gathering information through your IP address and WiFi connection location. This is what’s happening when certain websites prompt you to share your location with your browser. It is the browser’s way of locating you to be able to give you a more tailored experience with the site.
• If you are on a Mac, your WiFi automatically turns on. If you use a PC, this process may vary slightly depending on the Windows-version you are using. Especially for US players, geolocation is of importance whether or not they can visit an online casino.