Blog entry published on 26 July 2010

Security Breach Sours First Legal Canadian Online Casino

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Author: Anton Johan

I'm not always proud of the fact that I can lie here on my comfy sofa, trusty laptop in hand, laughing out loud at the foibles and mistakes of others. But long ago I accepted that that's what we humans do - we enjoy making fun of others. Why else do you think Candid Camera has lasted for as long as it has, and why TV's Punk'd made Ashton famous? Anyway, so a few days ago here I was, lying all comfy-like on my sofa, when I read a story online about how Canada's first legalized online casino [PlayNow.com] was 'hacked' just days after being launched.

I gotta tell ya, when I read that story I laughed and laughed until the tears were streaming down my face. The reason this story tickled my funny bone and wouldn't let go, is that as an avid and long-time online gambling fan and a Canadian citizen, I was actually excited that our government had 'grown up' in its view of online gambling (unlike the government of our chubby, gun totin neighbors to the south, who seem to believe that online gambling is on the same level child molestation) and decided to launch a legal online casino. Heck, I think it's great that Canadians can freely gamble online, and that at the same time the government can bolster its coffers by taxing online gambling revenues.

But I was not prepared to read about how the first-ever online casino launched by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) will probably go down in history as the world's fastest-ever to be hacked. What should have been warm and fuzzy for all concerned (the Canadian government, BCLC and law-abiding online gamblers in Canada) turned out to be an embarrassing and angry affair. Embarrassing for the Canadian government and BCLC, who clearly outsourced the design and development of the online casino to a firm that used plug n play freeware security software and firewalls, and angry for the players who had their playing funds unknowingly 'redistributed'.

According to the news article I read, around 134 PlayNow.com user accounts were hacked, with reports that 12 players had access to the personal information of other players. All in all, approximately CAN$8,000 was siphoned from these accounts before the website was closed down. BCLC officials blamed the security breach on 'high player volumes' and a 'data crossover malfunction'. Anyhoo, for the time being I'll keep my PlayNow.com registration on ice, and continue to play on the those offshore and much-maligned online casinos, you know the ones, where you know your account and playing funds are safe at all times.
 Posted by Anton Johan at 08:40 on 26 July 2010
 This post has been tagged in the following categories: Casinos

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