This is a breaking story. It will be updated as new information is available.
Online betting sites and apps across New Jersey — and in other locations with online gambling — went down on Thursday night due to issues with geolocation.
A company called GeoComply works with nearly every regulated online gambling operator in the United States for geolocation services. States require their gambling apps to be only accessible within state borders and rely on geolocation.
A GeoComply spokesperson confirmed that the issues were with GeoComply and issued the following statement:
“Last night, we encountered an unexpected network communications error, which our team responded to and remedied immediately. We have alerted all affected clients, and they are aware of the issue and the steps that were taken to resolve it as quickly as possible. The incident was a completely isolated internal network issue, and in no way was it a cybersecurity vulnerability.”
Poker players were among the first people to take to Twitter noting the problem.
Another extremely sad day for online poker .. as the geo location software crashes again and I’m watching players just steal chips from the entire table @PokerStarsUSA @WSOPcom .. at least party froze their games
— Stanton Tentnowski (@Stonniepokes) October 23, 2020
It initially seemed as though Nevada was unaffected, but multiple players in Nevada, including Jordan Cristos and Matt Affleck, reported location issues on WSOP.com as well. The issue is a coast-to-coast one, with confirmed outages in New Jersey, Indiana and Oregon.
Geolocation services out for every NJ online betting app
The problem extended to sports betting as well, as noted as by one gambler in New Jersey:
Well, that's one way to stop the unstoppable train that is NJ mobile sports betting.
Geolocation is down for every app in the state. 😮
— Captain Jack Andrews (@capjack2000) October 23, 2020
Operators were quick to take to Twitter to confirm that there was an issue but did not offer much in the way of an explanation or a timeline for when things would be back online:
We are aware that some users are currently experiencing trouble verifying their location when using the Sportsbook platform. Our team is working to resolve this as soon as possible, and we will provide updates here as they happen. We apologize for any inconvenience!
— FD Customer Support (@FanDuel_Support) October 23, 2020
We are aware some players are unable to have their location checked to place wagers. We are working to resolve as quickly as possible. Thank you for sticking with us here.
— DraftKings CX Team (@DK_Assist) October 23, 2020
After pausing tournament action, Partypoker elected to cancel tournaments disrupted by the outage.
After confirming the geolocation issues that impacted NJ sites and tournaments being paused over an hour, all tournaments are in the process of being auto settled per our tournament cancellation policy.
— partypoker US Network (@partypokerUS) October 23, 2020
On Friday morning, PokerStars tweeted regarding the outage:
Yesterday we experienced issues with our geolocation services. We apologize for any inconvenience. This is now resolved, and you should be able to access your account normally. If you were affected in any tournaments, please allow up to 24 hrs for your account to be refunded.
— PokerStarsUSA (@PokerStarsUSA) October 23, 2020
As of Friday at 12 p.m., WSOP.com still had not responded to how the site would handle the outage. The site was in the middle of an online Circuit series, which means Ring events were affected.