online casino off to a rocky start
The first legal online casino in Canada, PlayNow.com ran by the
British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) is off to a rocky
start. Last Thursday the casino's website was inaccessible,
leaving thousands of potential customers disappointed.
Launched last week as the first legal
online casino in North America, the PlayNow online casino was
far from the trouble-free start many were hoping for. Initially
reports by the press quoted officials from the lottery that the
online casino crashed due to high traffic to the gambling
website, just a few hours after opening its virtual doors.
"It's been an overwhelming success with people in British
Columbia to the point where we hit 100 per cent capacity in the
first day. So we decided to close the site down for a half a
day, add some new hardware and servers to the system to be able
to accommodate it. We're in the process of doing that. Our IT
people are working very hard to get it up and running,"
Michael Graydon, the president of BCLC was quoted in the press.
It turns out, however, that high traffic
to the gambling site was not the reason the online casino
remains shut down for the fifth day in a row. According to the
latest report, a software glitch caused the accounts of 134
players to be left accessible by others, posing a security risk
for both the online casino and the players whose accounts are
vulnerable. According to BCLC, after logging in with their
credentials, some customers of the gambling site were forwarded
to accounts not belonging to them and dozens of the 134 accounts
affected had personal information viewed by someone else
before the site was shut down to look for solution to the
problem. According to a statement released by BCLC, no "hacking"
was involved and the problem stems from a "data crossover".
The problems with Canada's first
government-ran online casino come in addition to the fines BCLC
is facing for misleading reports on transactions of over $10,000
(CAD). B.C. Lotteries Corporation was fined $670,000 by
Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada,
the agency that tracks money laundering and terrorist financing,
after it became evident following an audit, that the BCLC misled
1020 reports on transactions involving more than $10,000 in
British Columbia casinos. Out of those 1020 reports, 419 were
for late filing, 366 involved a clerical error and 227 were
rejected because of insufficient player information.