How To Play Safely, Following Singapore’s and Other High Profile Casino Data Breaches

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A major consideration of customers of both land-based casinos and internet gambling sites when deciding where to spend their hard-earned money is whether or not their personal and financial information will be secure. In 2023, a series of highly publicized cyberattacks on casinos, most notably casino giants MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment followed by a data security incident at the Marina Bay Sands casino and hotel in Singapore, brought the issue of data breaches to the forefront.

Located in Singapore’s Marina Bay waterfront, the Las Vegas Sands-owned Marina Bay Sands said in a statement after the intrusion that a cyberattack on October 19 and 20th saw hackers break into the company’s systems exposing the personal data of some 665,000 “non-casino rewards programme members.”

Whether you plan to gamble at a land-based casino or a virtual casino, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of research. In addition to site security, online casino customers, for instance, may want to explore a list of game reviews for Singapore to get an idea of what they offer.

Before the incident in Singapore, two of the largest casino companies in the world, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment were both similarly hit by hackers. Operations at MGM were reportedly disrupted for several days in September 2023, with the attack affecting some of the most iconic properties on the Las Vegas Strip, such as Mandalay Bay, the Cosmopolitan and the Bellagio, along with other resorts owned by MGM across the US. Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment reportedly negotiated the initial ransom demand by hackers for $30 million down to $15 million after incurring a cyberattack in August 2023, earning the company the unenviable distinction of being one of the record holders on ransomware payments.

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After the cyber security attacks, and there were others around the globe last year, all three companies reportedly said that they did not believe there was any evidence of customer’s passwords, payment or bank account information having been accessed.

Increased Risk

Cyber attacks on casinos are nothing new, especially when you consider that they attract millions of players and billions of dollars via brick-and-mortar venues and their associated iGaming or internet platforms. And while these land-based venues are often targeted, today, there is also considerable potential for cyber criminals to have online gaming sites within their crosshairs, considering their digital nature, the rise of iGaming and major jump in online player accounts.

For these reasons, the cybersecurity risk has dramatically increased and so have breaches on internet gaming providers. In 2023, a few of the more high profile cases include American daily fantasy sports contest and sports betting company, DraftKings, Dutch online platform Holland Casino Online, and French online casino Houlgate. These intrusions not only have the potential to cause substantial monetary loss to operators, they can also put compliance, user base, and reputation at risk.

For these reasons, many virtual casino platforms have security measures in place to help prevent criminals from gaining access to their customers’ personal and banking information. Players should also be proactive and do what they can to ensure their personal information and funds are safe. We will now take a look at a few of the main ways online casinos protect user data to provide their players with a safe and secure gambling experience.

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Encryption

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption is of the utmost importance in protecting customers’ information. In the context of online casinos, a few key aspects of SSL encryption include data encryption, player information protection, preventing man-in-the-middle attacks (when a hacker intervenes between two trusted parties for the purpose of financial gain). Sensitive data such as credit card numbers, personal details, passwords and user names is encrypted by online casinos to ensure players’ information remains private and secure. By doing so, players are able to enjoy their iGaming experience without having to worry about their identity being stolen.

Secure Payment and Withdrawal Systems

Another way internet casinos protect their customers’ financial information is by using secure payment gateways. These are specialized services that ensure the secure transfer of funds from a player’s account to the virtual casino of their choice and vice versa. Similar to the point-of-sale (POS) terminals people use everyday are the majority of brick and mortar stores, they are usually integrated with a variety of methods through which players can both add and remove money from their accounts. These may include credit and debit cards, e-wallets, crypto, and bank and wire transfers.

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Regular Security Audits

Regular security audits are also conducted by many online casinos so that potential areas of vulnerability can be detected and addressed to protect their online platforms and prevent hackers and other cyber criminals from taking advantage of any weakness.

Be Proactive

We should also be asking ourselves what we can do to help keep our information out of the hands of these bad actors. One way to do that is by being informed via user education and awareness. Any reputable online operator will emphasize the importance of learning about potential risks, practicing responsible gaming and the importance of security measures. A site may provide resources to help recognize attempts at phishing and underscore the importance of setting strong passwords and getting familiar with the site’s security features. The more you know about what steps you can take to safeguard your information, along with what online security best practices you should be looking for in an online casino, the less likely you’ll be to fall victim to cyber threats.

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