Regulated Online Poker Geolocation

Geolocation services are used to determine whether a player is within the jurisdiction that accepts online poker and casino play.  There are several methods available that are used to find a player’s location.  All sites consider a player’s IP address.  That identifies the location of the computer.  That alone does not qualify as sufficient.  Regulated U.S. online poker sites must also use a backup method.

Delaware and Nevada Poker Location

Players in Delaware and Nevada must possess a cell phone to play online poker in many cases.  The sites in those states use cell phone triangulation.  A player provides a cell phone number during the signup process and receives a text message asking the user to accept the terms that allow the cell phone company to report the device’s location.  The player must respond yes to this message or else he will not be able to play.

Once a player agrees to the terms, the cell phone company will use multiple cell phone towers to determine the player’s location.  The player must be in range of multiple towers or else the location will fail.  He must also be more than a mile from the state line as that is the margin of error for the technology.  This guarantees people located in neighboring states are unable to play, as required by state and federal law.

Cell phone triangulation is moving towards a backup solution.  Wi-fi triangulation is taking the lead in the Nevada online poker and mobile sports betting industries.

New Jersey Geolocation

Most New Jersey sites use a different type of geolocation method.  Wi-fi Positioning is used to help pinpoint a player’s location.  This uses wireless routers in proximity of a player to determine the location.  A player may still use a hard-wired connection to access the Internet, but they will need a wireless USB for the location side.  Some sites will provide this device free of charge.

This technology has caused some issues for New Jersey players.

Some New Jersey players live in rural areas on large lots.  These players will not have multiple routers in range so this technology will fail.  Another issue has been players that are too close to the state line.  Like cell phone triangulation, the margin or error prevents players within one mile of the border from playing.  New Jersey has substantial population density near its borders.

Real Gaming Nevada

Real Gaming is the site operated by South Point Poker.  It uses a mobile app to help identify a player’s location.  This requires a smart phone.

Attempting to Access Regulated Sites Outside Jurisdiction

Regulated sites are required to scan computers to ensure players are not running proxy software.  This has caused some false positives for people that use remote access software like TeamViewer or GotoMeeting.  This software cannot be running in the system tray and may need to be removed before playing.  While annoying, it keeps players from accessing the site via Virtual Private Network in an attempt to trick the system.