How mobile gaming apps can block users playing outside of licensed jurisdictions
Online gambling is regulated, limiting individual betting to specific locations. Some users try to spoof their location to circumvent geolocation restrictions, creating challenges for gaming companies to stay in compliance.
Users try to connect to mobile gaming apps from many different places. However in the U.S., due to geolocation restrictions and regulatory constraints, only users who onboard and connect from an approved jurisdiction have the legal right to gamble. Some users try to spoof their location to gamble unlawfully creating challenges for mobile app gaming companies to stay in compliance.
Over the past few years, mobile and online gaming has become legalized in the U.S. As of today, about 30 US states allow at least some form of sports betting, fuelling strong growth in users for mobile sportsbook apps.
Online gambling is an activity that is highly regulated at a state level, limiting only individuals physically present in a given state to legally place bets. There are also cases where some types of mobile gaming are allowed only if the user is on a casino premise: it’s a way to allow players of new demographics to use their mobile phones as terminals to gamble in the establishment they are currently visiting in person. So basically, it’s illegal for individuals that are located outside of the jurisdiction to place bets due to regulatory and compliance mandates. Mobile gaming apps can face financial penalties if they allow such unlawful access. For this reason, it’s important for mobile gaming apps to know the real location of the users before allowing them to play on their platform.
Some users try to place their bets by spoofing their location to make it look like they are in a permissible location when they are instead outside the legal jurisdiction.
There are several ways that users try to spoof their location to get access to mobile gaming apps from locations that are not approved. These include the use of fake IP addresses, VPNs, GPS spoofing apps, and emulators.
How to block unlawfully players and be compliant
The Incognia Location Spoofing Detection solution helps mobile gaming apps detect and block this type of Illegal access, enabling gaming companies to comply with legislative requirements.
You can read more in our mobile gaming case study about how Incognia detected jurisdictional compliance issues affecting a major mobile gaming app with over 70 million users. In an analysis of 3.1 million users, Incognia detected and blocked more than 5,000 accounts due to location spoofing.
The Incognia solution acts silently in the background, so there is no additional friction for legitimate users, and works on both iOS and Android devices.
To learn more about Incognia location spoofing detection please read our Location Spoofing Solution Brief.