Jimmy Fong: An effective fraud fighting strategy in US igaming 

Ahead of the firm’s entry to the US, Jimmy Fong of SEON spoke to Payment Expert about the evolving market and why an effective strategy is crucial to combatting fraud. 

Payment Expert: Firstly, are you able to tell us more about what SEON could bring to the US iGaming market?

Jimmy Fong: Ultimately, it’s the perfect time for us to join the market. The US iGaming industry has grown so much in recent years, but the sector’s fraud prevention protocols have remained largely the same during that period. Therefore, it’s now time for the market to implement new barriers to entry, which can help to stop fraudsters in their tracks.

Unfortunately, fraud attacks are constantly evolving, but technological intervention through multi-layered risk management stacks can help us fight back against the problem, and fast. Now it’s time for these solutions to be adopted by businesses across the iGaming sector, especially within the United States of America where bonus abuse could easily become a dominating factor. 

To support this effort, we’ve developed a unique software package that protects against both traditional and contemporary threats. Our solution combines a device fingerprinting system, with an extensive data enrichment and analysis program. 

What’s more, to further help the sector, we’ve also developed a user revenue widget built with iGaming businesses in mind. When used together, our solution enables operators to gain immediate insights into the amounts deposited and withdrawn by individuals within set time periods to quickly spot potential bonus abusers, odds fixers and problem gamblers.

How challenging is the climate for combatting fraud within the US iGaming space?  

The US iGaming market might be relatively new, but gambling in America isn’t. There has been gambling in America for some time in the form of land-based casinos, but the difference here is that these businesses have always been able to successfully implement player protection measures. Now, the challenge is how do we translate these techniques online.  

For us, one of the big problems is dealing with legislation and regulatory measures, which often differ between states due to the Wire Act. Whilst the act does make it difficult to delegate cross-border social responsibility, even online, once these tricky entry barriers are removed, the US iGaming industry will flourish even further. 

In the meantime, it’s important that companies are doing all they can to protect themselves as they look to expand and acquire new customers.

What do you believe are some of the key steps to slowing fraud in the space, as it continues to evolve at a rapid pace?

You’re totally right, the US iGaming market is experiencing a period of intense growth right now, which makes fraud detection and prevention solutions more relevant than ever. Thankfully, with our real-time account monitoring solutions, we’re able to identify red flag behaviours as they happen. Our technology is enabling iGaming providers to stop fraudulent actors within the early stages of sign up, mitigating the problem before it proliferates. 

However, it’s also important to note that fraudulent activity isn’t only limited to individuals. Increasingly, fraud is perpetrated by large, organised crime groups, often referred to as ‘bot farms’. Alarmingly, bot farm attacks are becoming commonplace in the iGaming sector, with techniques becoming more sophisticated as time progresses. To this end, such attacks are increasingly being used to garner fraudsters millions of dollars in stolen capital. 

Can you tell us some of the similarities and lessons that can be learnt from fighting fraud in the more mature UK iGaming market? 

The UK iGaming industry is one of the most mature markets in the world, so it offers a sort of blueprint for operators in the US to follow. This is so important, as we’re already seeing some of the issues that have previously affected the UK market now occurring within the American sector. 

Notably, I’d highlight bonus abuse and multi-accounting abuse as prime examples. These problems occur when users create multiple accounts using stolen details to maximise promotions run by operators. On account of these issues, many iGaming providers are also required to manual reviews on accounts, which is a hugely time consuming endeavour.  

With iGaming still in its infancy in the US, bonus abuse is something we need to be very cautious of. Many companies are relying on promotional offers to entice new players, but this leaves the door open for fraudsters too. To lower the risk of bonus abuse, operators must look to create more complex bonus rules, lowering their bonus pay-outs, or block risky locations and connections that are prone to bonus hunting. Thankfully, device fingerprinting solutions can massively help in this area. 

SEON is well experienced in the area of combating fraud. With that being said – how crucial is close collaboration with operators in the region of New Jersey?  

We’ve worked with some of the biggest iGaming operators in Europe, such as Kindred, PokerStars and LeoVegas, ,however, we know that every operator is unique and has different requirements. That’s why it’s so important to work with regional operators, such as New Jersey, to develop the optimum custom rules, which are needed to factor in risk thresholds. 

At SEON, we’ve put a substantial amount of time into planning and building a solution that’s ideal for the iGaming market. Alongside this, we’ve worked hard to ensure that our solution is exceptionally accessible, with the system now available as a free trial to potential new users. Thanks to this self-evaluation model, companies in the sector can now assess the suitability of our fraud prevention system before committing to it. 

So, if you’re looking to maximise customer value, minimise false positives and provide smooth and effective integrations across all regions, which in turn helps to save costs and eliminate risks across the iGaming sector, then we are the perfect partner.