I-Gaming Clientele on the Rise for Quova

6 December 2001

When Quova first developed its GeoPoint location technology, it did not foresee selling the product, which identifies the location of a Web site user anywhere in the world, to Internet gambling companies.

But now that Quova has signed its seventh I-gaming licensee for the software, the company is alert to the importance of geolocation technology to the evolution of the online gaming industry.

"I think it's absolutely quintessential," said Cindy Prince Baum, a Quova spokeswoman. "When you have territories where gaming is not allowed, you absolutely need a geolocation solution in order to accommodate that. Otherwise you're not complying with national regulations, national laws."

This week Quova announced that four more online wagering sites--in addition to Ladbrokes, Blue Square and Sports.com, which it had agreements with as of August--are using its software. Between that time and November, the company made deals with Rank.com, BETDAQ, Tattersall's Web site Tatts.com and Zabadoo.com, a lottery site.

In an Aug. 23 IGN article, Kevin Wandryk said Quova's original business plan called for the technology to be used by e-commerce and marketing companies, and that online gambling wasn't initially on the firm's radar screen. But since then, Quova has realized that the I-gaming industry has a need for technology that reveals what country, territory and city a given computer user is sitting in.

"The gambling space seemed to get really hot for us in perhaps the last two or three months," said Wandryk, Quova's senior vice president of corporate development.

Prince Baum said there haven't been any changes to the software since the addition of the latest four licensees. The technology can pinpoint the location of a computer user, but after that it is up to the I-gaming site to determine whether the user's jurisdiction allows online gambling or not.

"There's nothing specific to the technology at this point, that I am aware of, although there may be that kind of thing happening in the near future," she said.

The spokeswoman of the Redwood City, Calif.-based company said it has been in talks with companies in Nevada regarding the state's law that would allow Internet gambling to exist in the state as long as only Nevada residents who are of age use it.

Outside of I-gaming, Quova's partners include Amazon.com, CNET Networks, Real Networks and Visa International. GeoPoint works by mapping the Internet infrastructure of more than 4 billion IP addresses. One I-gaming customer, Ladbrokes, said the service is vital to its business because it allows the company to know where its players are coming from.

"Quova GeoPoint will enable us to avoid taking bets from those countries which we choose not to accept bets from--whether for legal or other reasons--but will also allow us to measure the continuing success of our online business on a country by country basis," said John O'Reilly, managing director of Ladbrokes eGaming.

Anne Lindner can be reached at anne@rivercitygroup.com.