MGM unveils location blocking software
By staff
At a hearing on Internet gambling April 29, MGM Mirage told Congress about a new system it has developed which could stop 99.99 percent of illegal online gambling from within Utah, one of two states that bans all forms of gaming.

The technology impressed Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, to the extent that he has co-sponsored a bill that would form a commission to study the legalization and regulation of Internet gambling in states that would allow it. MGM Mirage currently operates an online casino from the Isle of Man, but does not accept US customers. William J. Hornbuckle, president and CEO of MGM Mirage Online, says the software system would provide authentication of where the bet is coming from. This is done by using IP addresses (an IP address can pinpoint the individual computer being used), allowing operators to block those from states where online gambling is illegal. Other authentication methods include matching names of would-be gamblers to voter registration rolls in their home areas to help ensure they are adults and residents of an area where gambling is legal.

'No system is foolproof,' Hornbuckle said. 'But we can give a reasonable assurance to the congressman that folks in Utah wouldn't wander in' to online casinos run by MGM Mirage. But Deputy Assistant US Attorney General John G. Malcolm told the committee that such sophisticated identification-and-block systems aren’t in widespread use by online casinos, and he isn't sure that less reputable ones worldwide ever would even if it were required.

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