Poker players kicked off tables at regulated poker sites due to geolocation issues
By Bob Garcia
Geolocation technology is used by state-regulated poker sites to ensure that only players connecting from a specific area can play online poker at a designated site. But on Thursday October 22nd, that technology gave a handful of players the upper hand as it locked players out of the tables in the middle of the action.
A geolocation error briefly caused issues for all three US online poker operators serving customers across the United States, including Stars, WSOP, and PartyPoker.
GeoComply is used by all the operators to ensure that players are where they claim to be. According to state regulations, operators must use this technology to track a player’s location as they play. But on Thursday at around 9pm ET, players within legal jurisdictions were blocked from players.
“Last night we encountered an unexpected network communications error, which our team responded to and remedied immediately,” GeoComply Vice President of Government Relations Elizabeth Cronan commented. “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.”
Geolocation issues plagued the industry in its infancy, blocking players who were connecting from state borders. For example, those connecting to a New Jersey online gaming site from within the Garden State were often mistaken from connecting from New York.
But last night’s issue was different. Players far away from the restricted zone were still barred from the tables.
For some players, the interruption meant not being able to get onto a table. But for others, it meant being kicked off the tables and finding themselves chipped out of the tournament or cash game. Operators confirmed the issues.
“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,” noted PartyPoker.
On Twitter, Stars offered a similar account, noting, “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.”