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What is Geolocating and How Does it Work?

In simple terms, geolocation is the location of a device accessing the internet. For example, many of the leading smartphone brands allow you to set up a feature that means you can track the location of your mobile device should it become lost. The device uses geolocating technology to show you, approximately where it is in the world. 

There are plenty of examples of applications that use geolocating technology to make your life better. For example, travel apps will update when you land in a new destination and show you the closest attractions, restaurants, and hotels. If you have ever used Google Maps to follow directions to a destination, you have used geolocation on your device.

While some people will be concerned about having their movements tracked, it only happens using a device. So, if you were to go out for a walk and you left your mobile phone at home, you would not be tracked using geolocating. As far as the technology is concerned, you are still at home, when in fact you are outside, enjoying a walk.

Going into the technology in a little more detail, when using an internet browser on your computer or mobile device, it creates a unique identifier called an IP address. This can be used by owners of a website to see where you are from and provide them with useful information for marketing purposes. However, geolocating in this sense is not 100% accurate and it is believed this type of IP geolocation is around 90% accurate in the United States.

There are several reasons why geolocating is useful and it can be used by the police to help with security. Hospitals can use it to provide people with the closest emergency room should they need to use it but geolocating is also being used by the online gambling industry.

What is Geolocating and How Does it Work? - 1

In the United States, each individual state is responsible for the governing of online gambling. Many states have legalized online betting, whereas others have yet to do so, and some do not have any plans for legalizing online gambling. This causes a problem because people who reside in states where online gambling is illegal, may be tempted to try and join a casino or sportsbook from a different state. However, thanks to geolocation technology, online gambling brands have been able to clampdown on people trying to bet illegally.

This is good news and means the security surrounding online gambling in the United States is strong but it can occasionally lead to problems for those who are trying to gamble legally in their state. As highlighted above, geolocating technology is not always 100% accurate and when attempting to access an online casino or sportsbook, some people are blocked using geolocation. Thankfully, if the website is asking you to confirm your location before placing a bet, you can install the geocomply plugin and this should gain you access. 

It is rare you will be blocked from accessing a website if you reside in a legal online betting state but issues can arise for those living close to a state border.