CAMS chief highlights geolocation challenge as US market opens up

6 September 2013

Matthew Katz, chief executive officer of California-based CAMS, which specialises in providing payment services to online gambling operators, has told iGaming Business that accurate geolocation of customers will be a key challenge as online gambling filters across the US.

CAMS, which earlier this week was selected by igaming giant bwin.party to provide player verification and identification services in the US, is working with clients to maximise opportunities in a country that is gradually liberalising its gambling laws state-by-state.

In November, New Jersey will follow Nevada and Delaware in becoming the third US state to open up to online gambling, with California, New York and Florida also being widely tipped as likely new markets in the future.

However, with neighbouring states operating under contrasting online gambling legislation and industry stakeholders desperate to ensure government regulators are satisfied, Katz said that technological capabilities would face a thorough test.

“We look forward to New Jersey going live, which will further prove that the state-by-state model works,” he said.

“New Jersey is especially important given the population densities near its borders with New York and Pennsylvania. The major difference between Nevada and New Jersey presents us with a major challenge. While much of Nevada’s population lives far from the border, New Jersey’s borders near New York and Pennsylvania are densely populated.

“Our technology will have to prove that players who live near the border are located within the state and not just over the state line in New York or Pennsylvania. We will have to double and triple-check our geolocation, all while ensuring that players are of legal age and that problem gambling and excessive losses can be controlled.”

Katz is relishing the chance to prove CAMS’s technology can operate flawlessly in different US states.

“The biggest challenge – which should be resolved by New Jersey going online – is to prove that the technology works in a real-world deployment,” he added.

“Working with Ultimate Gaming in Nevada offered us the opportunity to be among the first to observe the regulated online gambling space and apply that acumen to other markets. There’s no doubt that CAMS has made an aggressive entrance into the US internet gambling market. We have invested heavily in our infrastructure because the industry – through regulation and sound leadership – presents significant opportunity for those with the right service offerings. We already have a number of clients in this space and we look forward to continuing to grow our customer list.”

Katz also spoke of his determination to “address the concerns of US banks – specifically their concerns regarding problem gambling and excessive losses”.

He added: “New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are good first steps toward allaying their fears, but US banks simply are not approving credit card transactions at a level that the industry requires in order to be successful."