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Setting defensive lines against the threat of fraud in Europe

| By Alice Soule | Reading Time: 5 minutes
With many operators setting their sights on expansion across Europe, one consideration that can often fall by the wayside is how to effectively overcome the challenges posed by a continent-wide rise in fraudulent activity. With operators hit with $6.8bn in fraud related costs in 2023, now is the time for operators to take action. SlotsMaker chief executive officer, Keen Chong explains the key steps operators must take to ensure stringent detection and prevention measures against fraud.

Igaming operators are up against a host of fraudulent activity, mainly relating to bonus abuse, data and identity theft, and money laundering through digital payment methods.

Adding to this concern, digital fraud in the igaming industry is evolving, and even the biggest operators are feeling the impact. In 2023, DraftKings saw $600,000 stolen from player’s accounts, and analysts are expecting global online fraud to cost businesses across all sectors $10.5 trillion by 2025.

SlotsMaker, a leading igaming solutions provider, knows these threats all too well.

Boasting a secure gaming environment and cutting-edge anti-fraud tools, SlotsMaker has made it its mission to safeguard operator partners against potential dangers and fraudulent activity.

Chong explains, “Online casino businesses face a mounting threat from fraud. The global igaming fraud rate surged by a staggering 68.6% between 2019 and 2021, which is expected to persist year after year.”

Understanding, and more importantly mitigating, the threats posed by fraudsters is just one of the many considerations that igaming operators must make when entering a new market.

Chong continues, “Fraudsters are constantly devising new methods to exploit weaknesses in identity verification, bonus systems, and payment processing.  Keeping up with these evolving tactics manually is becoming a significant burden.”

In more mature markets across Europe, operators face an uphill battle when it comes to player acquisition, with many choosing to roll out bonus offers and sign-up bonuses in a bid to gain a competitive edge. Unfortunately, this can also open the door for fraudulent actors taking advantage of such offers – whether it be through multi-accounting, matched betting, or bonus abuse.

Evolving trends in fraud: Keeping up with the changes

As more markets open up to legalised online gambling across Europe, the threat of fraud is evolving and adapting with each new market.

Analysts are already seeing trends of fraudsters building on one scheme from another. One such scheme is account takeover fraud which sees a fraudster gaining access to an account and making unauthorised payments, often changing the account password and locking out the real owner. Another is multiple account fraud where stolen credentials are used to set up various profiles at online betting sites. From here, the fraudster may accept enough bonus offers to place free bets on all possible outcomes, or even use their many accounts to visit one “table” at the same time to guarantee a win for their main account.

Chong expresses particular concern about the prevalence of these trends in European markets, where they can inflict lasting damage beyond just financial losses. He argues that these dishonest practices erode player trust in the operator. This damaged trust can have a severe ripple effect, ultimately harming the operator’s brand image and leading to a decline in player retention and engagement rates.

Strategies for safeguarding against fraud

For Chong, the market-by-market nature of online gambling presents a whole host of challenges for operators, especially when it comes to the different regional preferences, ID verification and ensuring that players are acting according to the guidelines set out by regulators.

He outlines two baseline strategies that are integral for operators to safeguard themselves from potential threats across European markets.

“The global nature of online gambling itself poses difficulties for geolocation verification and guaranteeing adherence to responsible gaming guidelines in the European Union.

“To effectively mitigate these risks and guarantee a seamless gaming experience for legitimate players, online casino operators must implement robust fraud detection and prevention systems that surpass rudimentary safeguards.”

“Combating online fraud requires a proactive approach. We urge operators to implement a rigorous identity verification process at registration. This ensures players are who they claim to be, safeguarding both the operator and legitimate players from fraudulent activity.”

He also advises operators to implement player behaviour tracking technology to keep a close eye on new accounts. Operators can easily identify potential fraud by looking at odd betting patterns or unusual winning streaks from new accounts – something that can be achieved through the SlotsMaker platform.

Chong continues, “SlotsMaker sets itself apart by providing comprehensive anti-fraud solutions tailored to the unique requirements of operators venturing into new European markets.

“To identify and stop fraudulent activity, our platform combines cutting-edge detection technologies like complex algorithms to provide risk scores to player profiles based on a range of criteria and actions. Additionally, SlotsMaker offers operators real-time monitoring to assist in risk management and address the danger of fraud in the shortest time possible.”

The SlotsMaker platform draws upon its flagship “unique IP detection feature” as well as geolocation identification to maintain a secure gaming environment for its users. This offers a number of safeguards for operators looking to expand their footprint across the European market.

“Our anti-fraud systems use geolocation identification to confirm players’ locations and detect any differences between their reported and actual locations. This guarantees regulatory compliance in European markets and helps stop fraudsters from accessing accounts from markets where online gambling is not permitted.”

Adapting to regulatory standards

In order to help operators remain compliant with the differing regulatory standards of the European market, SlotsMaker has ensured that its anti-fraud solution is easily adaptable to suit its partners’ unique demands and can help reassure operators.

“Navigating the regulatory environment across several European nations, each with its own set of laws and compliance standards, is one of the main problems. This intricacy raises the possibility of unintentionally breaking rules and getting fined.”

As an example, Bet365 was hit with two penalties totalling £582,120 from the UK Gambling Commission for failures against anti-money laundering (and social responsibility).

For Chong, navigating these regional concerns may be plain sailing when partnered up with SlotsMaker’s dynamic compliance updates.

He adds, “We regularly update our anti-fraud solution to comply with standards requirements in various European nations. Our dynamic compliance updates guarantee that operators have access to the most recent resources to uphold local jurisdictions.

“The adaptability of our system also allows operators to tailor parameters, thresholds, and risk scores according to local rules, allowing compliance and efficacy in a variety of regulatory environments.”

The effectiveness of the solution has been evidenced through SlotsMaker’s long-standing partnership with Live22.

Live22, an innovative slots provider, has worked alongside SlotsMaker to create and develop new titles for the igaming industry – including slots such as Advent of the Dragon, God’s Gambit: Hades and Kingdom of Luck. However, when it comes to fraud prevention, SlotsMaker has provided Live22 with the tools it needs to identify and combat suspicious betting activity.

“By utilising our technologies, our business partner has been able to strengthen its defences against fraudulent activity and further protect player interest with a secure gaming environment,” Chong explains.

“Live22 successfully penetrated and expanded its business footprint after putting SlotsMaker’s anti-fraud solution into practice. This allowed their igaming business to enter the market with confidence.”

Successfully reducing the risk of fraud

For those using the SlotsMaker platform, Chong highlights that there has been a “noteworthy decrease in fraudulent incidents”. As markets across Europe continue to undergo regulatory changes, the CEO is confident that it can continue to play a crucial role in protecting its operator partners from fraudulent activity and, subsequently, boost profitability.

“In particular, there has been a discernible decline in unauthorised access and bonus abuse cases when implementing our tools. By enabling operators to identify and stop fraudulent activity in real-time, our system has reduced risks,” he adds.

“We make sure that our anti-fraud tools continue to be extremely effective in thwarting new fraud tendencies and safeguarding the interests of operators by conducting ongoing monitoring and analysis.”

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