co-CEO Jim Ryan

Underage gamblers are going to have a very tough time playing online Texas Hold ‘Em if the Nevada Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board have their way. At a recent meeting, the Committee heard testimony from online security experts on how casinos will prevent teenagers from illegally blowing their college funds in online poker tournaments.

In its current form, the legislation guiding Nevada’s intrastate poker experiment doesn’t require a specific security protocol. Licensed online poker rooms will, however, have to prove their systems are capable of blocking both underage and out-of-state players.

Gaming commissioners have made it known that they expect online gaming companies to employ state of the art security measures on legal poker sites.

Are land-based Casinos and online poker sites a good fit? Check out Online Poker Firms Bring Bad Reps to New Deals.

Bwin CEO Testifies

Representing the online gaming industry at the hearing was co-CEO Jim Ryan. Bwin is partnering with MGM Resorts and is has applied for a Nevada gaming license.

Ryan touted his company’s experience in both preventing underage gamblers in Europe from accessing the company’s sites, as well as providing a secure environment for players. According to Ryan, more than a million gamblers visit his site in a given month and only 10 underage players manage to play. (Of course there’s no telling how many were able to successfully log in as adults and were never identified.)

Bwin’s employs bot programs, similar to the type used by search engines, to identify suspicious patterns and players. For example, two players at the same IP address could not play in the same game at the same time.

Ryan surprised the Commission by explaining how he had put $100 in an Internet gambling account from his hotel using a Gibraltar credit card and a Spanish mobile device. He used the ploy to point out the gaps in online security systems that are, presumably, not systems.


As intrastate poker moves closer to launch it’s likely that security issues are going to loom larger. Underage gambling has long been an effective tool for gambling opponents and gaming companies will be taking

Can online poker sites really prevent underage gamblers from logging on? Share your opinion on our Online Gambling Laws and Regulations Forum.


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