Amid rise in cybercrimes

GeoComply shares report on fraud, location spoofing attempts during Ontario's first year of legal iGaming

Reading time 1:50 min

The first year of regulated iGaming and online sports betting in Ontario has been a resounding success, with figures showing CAD 35.6 billion ($26.4 billion) in total wagers and total gaming revenue of CAD 1.4 billion ($1.04 billion), placing the Canadian province among the top five iGaming jurisdictions in North America.

However, as per data from geolocation and fraud detection services company GeoComplythe newly regulated market has also attracted unwanted attention from fraudsters and betting attempts from outside the province.

Aggregate data from GeoComply’s services to its Ontario operator customers since the regulated market launch in April 2022 reveals that: 

  • Over 744,000 users have attempted to log in 19.9 million times to Ontario operators from around the world;
  • Over 54,000 users from within the US have attempted to log in 305,000 times to Ontario operators from south of the border;
  • Over 3.3 million location spoofing attempts into Ontario operators have occurred from around the world.

GeoComply’s risk data for Ontario operators is in line with similarly-sized US states that have regulated iGaming and/or online sports betting, explains the company. The fraud attempts are mostly identity theft and bonus abuse, with some account takeovers and credit card chargebacks. 

According to GeoComply’s data, Ontario operator customer data since launch shows that: 

  • Over 219,000 devices have been prevented from gambling for fraud reasons;
  • 1,045 fraud rings affecting multiple operators were detected.

Danny DiRienzo, GeoComply Director of Risk Services, commented: "Online fraud is not uniquely a sports betting or iGaming problem. Recent data shows that cybercrimes were up 50% in 2022 across all forms of e-commerce."

"However, our industry’s high standards of compliance put us in a strong position to combat it. Because every bettor must verify their location, we have the data to stop fraud before it gets a foothold," he added. 

Additionally, GeoComply’s services have prevented the following from infiltrating the regulated market:

  • Over 127,000 devices known to be associated with fraud;
  • Over 56,000 devices with multiple users (typically a sign of bonus abuse);
  • Over 34,000 devices using illicit software (normally to hide location);
  • Nearly 1,500 devices that had been jailbroken or tampered with.

"Ontario is such a large market, and the opening of any market results in bonus offerings attracting fraudsters. This, coupled with the traditional gray market operations in Canada, resulted in experienced fraudsters hunting bonuses from day one, as anyone with a set of stolen identities could collect bonuses from several operators," DiRienzo explained.

"GeoComply remains vigilant alongside our operator partners. During the last 90 days, a third of GeoComply’s fraud investigations have involved Ontario operators, despite Ontario accounting for far less than a third of our overall traffic. The investigations have affected most Ontario operators, so fraudsters are targeting almost everybody," he concluded.

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