Iovation Study Points to Increasing Mobile Gaming Transactions as Most Likely to Be Used for Fraud

Posted on: August 6, 2019, 10:28h. 

Last updated on: August 6, 2019, 10:30h.

Mobile technology’s ever-increasing use for online gaming deposits and withdrawals pose the greatest risk for fraud, a new study from Iovation reveals. The Portland, Oregon company specializes in fraud prevention and authentication systems to protect internet operators and users.

Iovation has released a study which shows how mobile devices are being used for fraud in gaming and other industry sectors. Iovation CEO and founder Greg Pierson (seen here) says his company’s products are on the forefront of pushing back against the problem. (Image: Vimeo)

In 2018, gambling was ranked as the top industry — coming in at 60 percent among all categories of business — for risky transactions originating from mobile devices, among the companies and sectors studied by Iovation, a TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) company.

For the first half of this year, 72 percent of online gambling transactions came through mobile devices. Last year, it was 70 percent, in 2017 it was 62 percent, and in 2016 it was 55 percent, showing that the move towards mobile generally in the gaming industry is bumping up annually.

Among all the industries studied in the research, about half of all unsafe online transactions appear to be coming via a mobile device. In the first half of 2019, 49 percent of these came from mobile devices, up from 30 percent in 2018. It was 33 percent in 2017 and 25 percent in 2016.

Also, many fraudulent users make it look like their transactions are coming from mobile devices when, in fact, they are using a traditional desktop or other kind of computer, according to Iovation. That approach may benefit these bad actors in their schemes, but software can identify the use of other devices.

VIP Account, Credit Card Abuse

Over the past year, Iovation reports there has specifically been abuse of VIP accounts for money laundering. It starts with a valid new account that is given VIP status, and later is sold to money launderers, according to Iovation’s Senior Marketing Manager, Brooke Snelling.

In 2018, credit cards ranked among the top three types of fraud reported by gaming operators involved in the study. This represented a 155 percent increase over the past five years.

Also, abuse of online casino bonuses offered to customers was the top type of fraud reported by Iovation’s gaming clients last year. Between 2016 and 2018, bonus abuse reports jumped 287 percent, the study stated.

Iovation’s solutions also allow those at risk for problem gambling to self-exclude from internet gaming.

In 2018, we saw nearly a million attempts by devices associated with self-exclusion to access one or more of the digital properties in our network of iGaming clients,” Snelling told “That’s more than four times the 223,000 self-exclusion reports placed by our clients that year.”

For the first half of 2019, North America was noted as the continent with the most mobile fraud globally. Some 59 percent of all risky transactions came from these devices.

Sports Betting Follows Mobile Trend

In June, industry experts at the East Coast Gaming Congress predicted the US sports betting market will total 90 percent online or mobile within a decade.

Last year, the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), opening the door for the American sports betting market to burgeon. It may eventually become the world’s largest, according to Moti Malul, CEO of NeoGames, an internet lottery and online gaming software and service provider.

Legal American sportsbooks hauled in a handle of $9 billion in the year since PASPA was ruled unconstitutional.