PlayNow.com Security Investigation Complete

16 February 2011

The investigation into the Canadian online gambling site PlayNow.com by the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has concluded and said that the site had not taken sufficient steps to protect its player’s privacy when it launched July 15th.

The PlayNow site was shut down within hours of its initial launch. It was said at the time that it was a server overload but later the B.C. Lottery Corporation (BCLC) admitted a security glitch that allowed 134 players to see personal details of other players including bankroll and bank information.

Though Denham said in a news release the BCLC identified the problem, corrected it and took action to prevent it from happening again, she also added:

“However, a second, broader investigation identified a number of security gaps when the PlayNow.com online casino platform was launched, the cumulative effect of which resulted in inadequate protection of customers’ personal information,” the release stated. “The investigation identified inadequate user access controls and malicious code controls, unencrypted data transmission and gaps in BCLC’s privacy management framework.”

Security is a high concern for any online gambling sites but Denham wanted to make certain it was secure due to the type of people these sites attract;

“The inherent nature and high profile of online gaming websites expose customer personal information to increased risk. Gambling attracts the attention of organized crime and these individuals or groups have the means and the inclination to test the security of online gaming platforms.”

The report made a number of suggestions for increased security features on the PlayNow site and according to BCLC president Michael Graydon, all but one will be implemented by March 1. The last one which relates to relates to retention schedules of data and when the data can be destroyed will require government approval and take longer to implement.