While IP technology allows administrators to track the location from where the internet is being accessed, location-as-a-service is a much more advanced technology that is currently being used by online poker websites to carefully monitor from where their websites are being access.
Due to the strict legislation against online poker in the U.S, online poker companies have to be extremely vigilant on player location. Some states like Nevada and Maryland have approved online poker websites but have made it mandatory for players to be located within the state.
Locaid based out of San Francisco specializes in providing location-as-a-service technology that allows online poker companies to do precisely this. The company’s technology is currently being used by the likes of William Hill, Ultimate Poker and also the World Series of Poker.
In a statement, Rip Gerber the CEO of Locaid said
We are the world’s largest location company. We created what’s known as “location as a service.” We provide location information to all industries; from financial services to health care to hospitality and gaming We can locate more than 5 billion devices anywhere on the planet through multiple location sources
Locaid uses a number of different methods to verify player location. The verification can be done via cell towers spread across a countryside, via well known wireless carriers like Sprint, AT&T and Verizon. The company can also use an IP location originating from a broadband connection, handheld device or third party database. Locaid then carefully filters this information to ensure that only authorized devices are allowed access to the relevant online poker websites.
Due to the nature of his business and the strict methodology that Locaid adopts, Gerber has been known in poker circles as the ‘sheriff of online gambling’. However, Gerber says his role is more in line with the border patrol as the information collected by Locaid gets passed on to the poker company and they decide what action to take.
Different states in the U.S adopt a different legislation towards online gambling and hence it is not always easy to provide location-as-a-service technology as it has to be customized to the needs of the state as well as the poker company.
Speaking about these challenges, Gerber
One interesting requirement in New Jersey is that a bet can’t be placed by the pool or in the parking lot. So we can authenticate that you’re in the state with one technology, but to get highly accurate to see if you’re inside a particular wall, we use a locale-based technology like Wi-Fi networks. The challenge becomes that all of our customers have their own twist on what they require. It’s not like you just plug in and everyone drinks the same water. There’s a little bit of mix and match that goes on
To find out more information about Locaid and its services, please visit the company website at www.loc-aid.com