Attempts to bet illegally in Ontario thwarted during Superbowl LVII
In the match between The Kansas City Chiefs and The Philadelphia Eagles at the Super Bowl LVII, held on Sunday, February 12, GeoComply thwarted thousands of illegal bets. After conducting 100 million geolocation checks, GeoComply, a company that offers anti-fraud compliance in the iGaming sector, reported they blocked 9000 illicit betting of sports attempts at Ontario Online Casinos.
In most cases, betting fans used a Virtual Private Network or VPN to bypass restrictions to access licensed Ontario Casinos. This is illegal according to regulations instituted by the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO), which focuses entirely on keeping the industry clean. Before regulation in Ontario, there were no significant attempts to restrict the offshore market or ensure a legal gambling age restriction. Now that Ontario is regulated, more than 40 operators are offering legal online sports betting, but at the Superbowl LVII event, 9000 bets were deemed illegal.
Through careful monitoring by Vancouver-based GeoComply, who ensure fraud prevention, checks were made to ensure bettors were physically in Ontario and were above the legal gambling age. While the sports betting market is open in Ontario, Canada, players outside of Ontario cannot legally access their online casinos, and companies like GeoComply ensure this law is maintained.
Kansas City Chiefs beat Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in 2023 Super Bowl LVII
Sports betting fans in Ontario sat on the edge of their seats as they were treated to a riveting match between The Philadelphia Eagles and The Kansas City Chiefs at the Super Bowl LVII. The Eagles opened the game by marching 75 yards down the field in 11 plays and rushed to score the opening touchdown only 4:51 into the first quarter. In only three minutes, the Kansas City Chiefs responded with a 75-yard march by KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes and an 18-yard touchdown toss to Travis Kelce. After the Rihanna halftime show, the Chiefs coaches adjusted the play to slow The Eagle’s offense. Then Kansas City kicked a field goal with 8 seconds left to go earning them a 38-35 victory over The Philadelphia Eagles, which secured their place, once again, as the Super Bowl champions.
Why the sudden surge in suspicious transactions?
The much-awaited Super Bowl LVII event took place in Glendale, Arizona, where more than 73,000 fans sat on the edge of their seats, with millions more watching from their TV and online. The halftime performer was Barbadian singer Rihanna, who delighted the audience with her songs, including her latest hit single Lift Me Up, from the 2022 superhero film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. This was the fourth Super Bowl hosted by the Phoenix metropolitan area, the most recent being Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. As this was such a prestigious international event, authorities were ready for illegal betting attempts, and GeoComply was used to ensure this didn’t happen.
According to John Pappas, SVP of Government & Public Affairs for GeoComply, most of the blocks were from underage gamblers trying to access regulated sportsbooks in Ontario. The USA’s legal gambling age is 21, while Ontario allows gamblers from 19. Pappas further confirmed that GeoComply blocks “spoofing” attempts thousands of times a week. Spoofing is when bettors mask their location with a VPN, a virtual private network that creates a secure connection by encrypting internet traffic and disguising the user’s online identity. However, Pappas confirmed that their anti-fraud systems were optimized well before the Big Game for both US citizens and Canadian customers. He concluded that ensuring geolocation compliance on both sides of the border is paramount to ensure no illegal betting. The Super Bowl saw more than 100 million geolocation checks across 23 US States and DC, revealing a 25% increase from last year’s Super Bowl.
Ontario Casinos and Sportsbooks are highly regulated
The first of its kind in Canada, Ontario’s regulation allows players in Ontario to access world-class gambling sites with the assurance that those sites are monitored for player protection, game integrity, and responsible gambling operations. Licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, online gambling and sport and event betting sites must follow stringent rules which are designed to protect vulnerable people, like self-excluded players and underage players.
Having an Ontario account is allowed even for bettors living outside the province, but according to regulations from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, placing bets at online sportsbooks in Ontario is only allowed for sports bettors located within the province of Ontario.
Betting in the province of Ontario from outside
On April 4th, 2022, the first regulated online gambling market in Canada was established, and history was made. Ontario is home to many of Canada’s most prominent sports teams, such as the Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, and Raptors, so it makes sense that Ontario was the first province to offer regulated gambling and sports betting. Online gambling providers in Ontario and Minimum Bet Sportsbook operate with a license issued by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission. In this strictly regulated market, gambling, and betting services are only allowed for bettors residing inside the province.
As reported by the CDC Gaming, the gambling industry’s news, and analysis source, USA citizens that tried to bend the rules were blocked. Illegal bets were made by bettors that registered at Ontario sportsbooks using meta masks and VPNs to mask their identities. But the government works closely with anti-VPN companies like GeoComply to filter out illegal attempts and is a few steps ahead. While it is concerning that there were as many as 9000 illicit individual gambling attempts, we have to remember that we are talking about the Super Bowl. The 2023 edition of the Super Bowl was watched by a record 113 million viewers in the USA who wanted to get their piece of the action.
According to a survey by the Responsible Gaming Council, 49% of Ontario sports bettors said they intended to bet on the biggest-ever betting event at the Super Bowl. The RGC poll reported that Ontario sports bettors said they would place a single bet, while 24% intended to wager on the game’s outcome at more than one online sportsbook. Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, presently hosts 40 online sports betting sites and 68 online casino gaming websites with just over 910,000 active player accounts, each with an average spend of CA$167 per account.
Ontario has always been regarded as a potential gold mine for gambling and sports betting in Canada, and with recent regulations, Canadian gamblers have access to top-notch online gambling establishments. Ontario is the most populous Canadian province with close to 15 million residents, and as it shares a border with Michigan and New York, it was the most logical choice for regulation. After the Ontario-regulated market was opened in 2022, PointsBet was one of the first operators to launch their app and website online, followed shortly after by FanDuel. With the total count of licensed sportsbook and casino operators now in the double-digits, Minimum Deposit Casinos has you covered with top-rated online casinos and sportsbooks for players from Ontario.
Online Casinos In Ontario
Throughout history, Canada has struggled to legalize gambling, but many people aren’t aware that Canada has had online casinos since the 90s. Launched in 1994, the first online casinos operated with slow internet connections and old-fashioned visuals, and players had to be patient when logging into online casinos. Thanks to technological advancements, nowadays, that is not the case. Today, online casino players and online sports bettors can place bets and play top slots and table games like Poker, Roulette, and Blackjack with desktop and mobile online in a secure environment.
In the 19th Century, the first official document, the “Canadian Criminal Code,” was created to prohibit Canadian gambling activity. The Canadian government soon realized online gambling was very popular and offered enormous economic potential, so they adjusted the original Criminal Code in 1969. Online Poker and the lottery were made legal, and for a couple of decades, land-based casinos did not face any competition to threaten their stability. In the 90s, with the rapid growth of internet technology, the first online casinos opened. Online casino players in Canada could now enjoy top slots by software developers like NetEnt and Yggdrasil, Poker, Roulette, and Blackjack games, progressive jackpot machines that pay life-changing wins, and Live Dealer Casino games.
What does this mean for betting in the future at big events
If the match between The Kansas City Chiefs and The Philadelphia Eagles is anything to go by, future events will see more anti-fraud, geolocation compliance, and Know Your Customers (KYC) protocols instituted at regulated Ontario Casinos. We expect to see heightened security so that online sports bettors and online casino players won’t be able to get away with breaking the rules.
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Browse through our high-quality online casinos and sportsbooks, register with low deposits starting from CA$1, and grab a bonus to add more playing money to your account. This way, you will be ready for more global sports events in 2023, including the UEFA Champions League in June 2023.