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BetMGM’s Bettors in Ontario Fall Victim of Cyber-Attack

Online gambling and sports wagering across Ontario have drastically increased in popularity over the last year, but there were some security issues. Last month, BetMGM informed its bettors from the province that it discovered a data breach and users’ personal information might have been accessed. Meaning, that their names, contact information, and more could have been exposed.

According to a press release from the betting company, the breach occurred somewhere in May 2022, which is only a month later the firm debuted in the province’s iGaming market. However, the company discovered the breach on November 28, 2022, and shared that there was no evidence that user passwords or funds were accessed via the hack.

Further Details on the Attack

Ritesh Kotak who is a cybersecurity expert recently shared his thoughts on cyber-attacks. He said that any type of hack is dangerous as personal identifiable information can become available to hackers to leverage. In his words, after such an online breach and data leak, it is almost impossible to revert the damage that has been done to individuals.

As of now, BetMGM is yet to reveal the number of users that had their information stolen. But it should be mentioned that a prominent hacker published on the dark web that they are reportedly selling the stolen data of more than 1.5 million customers from several North American jurisdictions. This included New Jersey, Michigan, West Virginia and Ontario.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner noted that it received a breach report from the gaming firm. Currently, the report is being under review and the next steps will be assessed. A spokesperson, from the office, commented that the organization is not in a position to provide additional details on the matter at the current time.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario commented that it is monitoring the incident and is reviewing the company’s systems, policies, and practices as it vows to protect player information. Lastly, BetMGM shared that it working with law enforcement and is taking steps to tighten security. The company also warned players to review account statements and monitor free credit reports.

Other AGCO-Related Measures and More

At the start of December 2022, the AGCO took the decision to ban wagering on Ultimate Fighting Championship matches. Thus, requiring all registered casino, lottery and gaming operators in the province to suspend offering and accepting wagers on UFC. Its decision came after the regulator heard of recent alleged incidents involving potential betting from UFC insiders.

Prior to that, in October 2022, the regulator issued a discussion paper which aimed to collect investor feedback on potential regulatory risks correlated with promotional partnerships, The paper is meant to collect input on the likelihood of the regulator taking regulatory action to ban the creation of any physical venue, temporary or permanent, where the purpose of the location would be to promote and or facilitate the placing of wagers.

Source: Ladhani, Rahim “Ontario gamblers affected by recent BetMGM data breach CTV News Toronto, January 5, 2023