In the days of yesteryear, legal gambling was limited mostly to physical casinos that purchased (or more often leased) a wide assortment of mechanical slot machines from a very small number of manufacturers. Then came digital slot machines with exciting graphics, sounds, and lots of options but those machines rarely updated as they were often just pretty versions of the old mechanical one-arm bandits.
In the 2000’s gambling exploded on-line and governments reluctantly accepted the fact that their citizens are going to gamble through their computers. So today, Canadian, American and British Governments all license online casinos and online sportsbooks in an attempt to keep out the predators and con-men.
If you choose one of these regulated gambling providers, you can now play casino games and take part in betting online legally and without too much fear of being ripped off.
That one change lead to a dramatic increase in on-line gambling options and competition breads innovation. Here is some of the more interesting tech now uses in the online gambling industry.
Regulated Random Number Generators
Behind all the pretty graphics of all on-line gambling games, are random number generators (RNG) that are regulated by serious gaming bodies to stop the previously frequent abuse by online casino operators.
Serious tech companies like iTech Labs, Gaming Labs International, and BMM Testlabs are certified by various governments, to provide RNG gaming certifications themselves. They adhere to strict testing standards just like other tech companies including:
ISO/IEC 17025 enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their work both nationally and around the world.\ISO.org/ISO-IEC-17025-testing-and-calibration-laboratories
Anyone who works in management in the tech or manufacturing industry knows just how serious ISO standards are. If an RNG certification company were to have their ISO certification pulled, they would likely go out of business, so they just don’t push the limits.
All these companies want to be thought of as the best payout online casino and two ways to do that are to:
- decrease costs
- increase transaction speeds
Back in the day, you would need to send a check / money order into the on-line casino and wait, or you would have to give them a credit card and lose money due to transaction fees. Today, digital payment providers like PayPal rule the on-line casino landscape. Many now even take crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Etherium. These are great ways for an instant withdrawal casino to process transactions quickly.
Online casino’s will often give you “free credits” if you use these digital payment methods because it save them 2% to 4% in transaction fees.
Much like RNG accreditations, on-line gambling security is absolutely fundamental to the success of any iGaming company. Shockingly, in the early days of on-line casinos there was only a notion that user credentials should be secured, and even then it was often so badly done that the industry got a bad reputation. Today, however, we see:
Full End-To-End Encryption:
This makes “man in the middle” attacks nearly impossible. Encrypting your communication means a hacker MIGHT be able to see your traffic but they cannot decrypt your communication
Two Factor Authentication
2FA (aka Multifactor Authentication) means that you provide something you KNOW (i.e. your password) and something you HAVE (i.e. your cell phone). One factor authentication, usually means that you have a password. Adding a second factor, like a number texted to your cell phone, makes it very unlikely a hacker can sign in as you.
When on-line gambling started it was a favorite way for crooks and criminals to launder money. They would open accounts under fictitious names and deposit large amounts, then play for a while and withdraw their money… and now it is clean. Governments and policing services certainly did not like that and they introduced aggressive policies to counter such money laundering.
Today, when you create an account with an on-line casino they are going to verify you are you. You have to prove your identity often by providing a drivers license or passport.
I have advanced IT support contracts with more than one casino group and all of them have required me to clear a police check which even involved finger printing. There were social media checks to make sure I had not espoused radical positions or confessed to crimes I did not have a police record for.
However, the most effective way to block me and all employees / contractors from even being tempted, is to ban us from the casinos… and that is what has happened. I am not even allowed to buy a lottery ticket in some states / provinces because it would be a conflict of interest if I won.
The first web pages were “written” in Hyper Text Mark Up Language version 1 (HTML1) which was built for functionality, not security. The tools like Adobe Flash were used to create web content and that was definitely not secure.
Today we know that bad actors are everywhere online so when HTML version 5 became supported by all the major browsers, the on-line gaming world jumped on it. HTML5 is radically more secure than those early standards and while it is not immune to attack, it is updated frequently by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and companies that make browsers (i.e. MS Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox…) constantly update their products to eliminate new hacks.
The Old Days Are Old
In summary, we can say that while nothing is hack proof and that so called “threat actors” will always be eating away at the security envelope, you are dramatically less likely to be ripped off today by an online casino, than you were even 5 years ago thanks to new technology.