The Nevada Gaming Commission will hold a hearing on February 18 at 10am to determine if the company should be approved for licensing in the state’s regulated online gaming industry.
Iovation applied for licensing as a service provider. If approved, Iovation would supply geolocation software to regulated gaming sites in Nevada, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board agenda.
Steve Brogan was first to report the discovery of the application on a Nevada Gaming Control Board agenda.
Iovation briefly participated in the Nevada online poker market in 2013. That is when players discovered that the company’s services were being used by Ultimate Poker, Nevada’s first licensed poker site. Ultimate Poker dropped Iovation after facing a backlash from players.
Iovation ties to UltimateBet
Iovation has roots that date back to the early days of online poker. The original company was known as ielogic. The poker side of the business was spun off to a company related to UltimateBet in 2004. The non-poker assets became what is known as Iovation today.
UltimateBet was home to the largest cheating scandal in online poker history. Player losses were estimated to be between $20 to $50 million. Rogue software was used by UltimateBet insiders that displayed the hole cards of opponents at the table.
UltimateBet was acquired by Absolute Poker’s parent company before the cheating scandal was discovered by players. Both sites failed in the months after the Black Friday indictments were unsealed in April 2011. All player deposits were lost.
Nearly five hours of recordings related to the UltimateBet cheating scandal were released by Travis Makar in 2013. Makar told USPoker at the time that one of the voices in the tapes is Greg Pierson, CEO of Iovation.
Other investigations drew the same conclusion. This includes the documentary “Ultimate Beat” that detailed these tapes and other findings related to the insider cheating at UltimateBet.
Iovation provides data to online merchants
Iovation’s main product is device reputation. The company compiles information from computers and mobile devices, as well as the customers using them.
A merchant using Iovation technology runs the information of a potential customer through Iovation’s negative database before a payment or registration is approved.
Iovation partners with offshore sports betting sites
Iovation’s iesnare product is used by Bovada and Bookmaker, among other offshore gambling sites that accept U.S. players.
Links to iesnare.com are embedded in the code of registration and payment processing pages on these sites, as noted in the image to the right.
Nevada law excludes companies that, under certain conditions, operated online gambing-related businesses in the U.S. without proper licensing from its interactive gaming industry if the activity occurred after December 31, 2006.
This includes companies that provide “any information regarding persons via a database, customer list or any derivative of a database or customer list” to unlicensed gambling sites after that date, according to NRS 463.01464.
The Nevada Gaming Commission will determine if Iovation is suitable under applicable state laws on Thursday.