The iGaming industry is a global success story and one that continues to increase revenue size year-on-year. Since the United States relaxed its rules on sports betting in 2018, the sector has produced incredible income figures, and projections suggest more increases in the years that follow.

    As the interest increases, so does the need for the industry to provide a safe and secure platform for its customers. Cybersecurity is an important factor for all online businesses, but why is it so crucial for iGaming providers?

    Cybersecurity: The Essentials

    Within the online betting industry, cybersecurity plays an integral role, and it works in the background across all online platforms. It’s defined as a series of methods undertaken to protect sensitive information while we are online.

    The security element applies to all devices, including desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. All third-party websites should adhere to the regulations and employ high levels of cybersecurity to keep users safe while online.

    The implications with sites such as those in iGaming are clear. Customers store sensitive information, and if adequate security is not in place, this could be compromised. Financial details could potentially be used for fraudulent activities, so security issues are critical.

    Importance in the iGaming Industry

    Cybersecurity is essential to iGaming because each operator carries personal information from each of its customers. It’s not possible to register and play anonymously at online sportsbooks and casinos, because strict rules mean that the operator must verify a player’s identity.

    Those players must be of legal gambling age before they can sign up for an account. This will vary between the ages of 18 and 21, depending on their country of residence. The operator will need confirmation of their date of birth, along with their permanent address and contact details.

    Once registration is complete, the customer has to make a deposit in order to place a sports bet or play at the casino. Unless they are using a digital wallet, sensitive financial information is shared with the operator.

    Depending on the exact funding method that they use, the customer will enter bank card or bank account details. 

    It’s important to understand that it’s necessary for the operator to have this information. The industry is highly regulated and they have to follow specific rules in order to obtain and keep their license to provide services. Customers have to be verified, and that’s why this personal and financial information is requested.

    Because those details are essential, the need for adequate cybersecurity becomes vital.

    Building Trust

    While effective cybersecurity must be in place, customers need to know that it’s working in the background to keep their sensitive information safe. There must be trust between the player and provider in order to produce a confident relationship moving forward.

    That’s why many operators list their approach to online safety in a separate section of their website. When this section is in place, it will be displayed via a link on the homepage. Other providers list their cybersecurity approach on their “About Us” page.

    The information provided can be highly technical. It will likely refer to Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, which is one of cybersecurity’s key elements. This is the tool used to encrypt personal information and keep it out of the hands of third parties. The higher the SSL number, the greater the security in place.

    A Comprehensive Approach

    There are measures that every iGaming customer should take in order to back up the online casino or sportsbook’s security measures. It’s recommended that you never save your login details on a shared computer, while there could be issues with logging on to public devices, such as those used in libraries.

    Using an eWallet such as PayPal to add funds can also be considered. Funding via PayPal means that financial information is not shared with the merchant.

    While those are necessary precautions, the chief responsibility for making sure customers are safe and secure online lies with the website operators.

    The implications of not putting adequate measures are serious. Heavy fines are likely if such an event happens, while there is a remote possibility that an operator may lose their license. It’s clearly not a risk they are going to take.

    Cyber-attacks on iGaming businesses have happened in the past. In 2020, the sports betting app of the Oregon Lottery had to be suspended after an incident. The operator insisted that the suspension was carried out as a precaution and that no personal information was compromised.

    It was, however, a concerning incident for customers of the lottery, and one that underlines the importance of online security in any industry.

    Players must have that trust in place if they are going to sign up at an iGaming operator. So much personal information is used, and it’s vital that the online sportsbook or casino has adequate measures in place. 

    Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.