Maryland Sports Betting Grants Geolocation License to GeoComply

As the launch of Maryland sports betting approaches, the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency has granted a license to GeoComply for geolocation as a Tier One Contractor.

GeoComply, the leading provider of geolocation services for the gaming industry in the United States, will also perform KYC services for the State of Maryland. KYC stands for “Know Your Customer,” and is necessary to satisfy legal requirements in a jurisdiction for online transactions regulated by a government body.

Through GeoComply’s technology, users of Maryland sports betting apps are verified to ensure they are within the geographic location where the betting activity is permitted. With a KYC License, GeoComply also periodically verifies the customers of a licensed online sportsbook are who they say they are.

Why Geolocation Services Are Important

A compliance platform like GeoComply is crucial to the success of a legal sports betting and gaming market, for fraud and loss prevention services, to safeguard the sports betting operators and consumers.

Maryland will roll out online sports betting in November or December, according to state officials. Last month, qualifications were approved for 10 Maryland sports betting license applicants. It’s anticipated that a handful of sports betting operators will launch on Day 1, with more entering the market in phases. The timing allows bettors in the state to wager on the NFL, NCAA football, the NBA, and other sports.

DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars have all applied for licenses in Maryland, and have been approved or are expected to be approved to operate when the market launches.

Sports fans in Maryland will be able to bet on professional sports like the NFL, NBA, MLB, tennis, golf, and MMA, as well as college sports, including in-state schools.

Going Deeper on GeoComply’s Services

The license for geolocation services in Maryland follows the securing of a conditional license by GeoComply from the Ohio Casino Control Commission in October. Ohio will launch online sports betting on Jan. 1, 2023.

GeoComply provides geolocation, fraud prevention, and cybersecurity solutions that are installed on “over 400 million devices and analyze over 9 billion transactions a year.”

GeoComply has been entrusted by most of the large brands in sports betting, including DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, Churchill Downs, PokerStars, and Caesars. It’s also utilized by Amazon CloudFront, and Amazon Prime Video.

Other states that have license arrangements with GeoComply include New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Colorado.

The practice used by GeoComply to protect a jurisdiction from fraud and illegal sports betting is called “geofencing,” which entails using the unique signature of a computer or handheld device to determine whether it resides within the legal boundaries. The GeoComply product used for this verification is called GeoGuard, which relies on GPS coordinates and other factors. The company uses its proprietary product called IDComply to determine a person’s identity.

Relevant to the states where GeoComply operates, data mining also proves helpful. For example, the company can see where illegal attempts are made to crack geofencing and respond to that traffic to bolster security and provide information to law enforcement or regulatory agencies.

Founded in 2011, GeoComply is a Vancouver-based company whose stated mission is to “instill confidence in every online interaction.”

Co-founder and CEO Anna Sainsbury stressed the importance of GeoComply’s services for sports betting and other online businesses in a recent interview with Business in Vancouver.

“[When] you’re dealing with businesses that are open every second of every day and never take a day off, you need to be diligent,” Sainsbury told BIV. “You can’t something, not even once, [and] that’s where GeoGuard proves its worth to [these] states for gaming and betting customers.

“When we launch a new product [into] a new state, we help governments identify the cost of fraud.”

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.