As more states across the US offer legalized sports betting, or are considering legalizing sports betting, online operators seek to capitalize on this by launching their online sportsbooks.

Many well-known brands, such as DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM Sports, aim to provide a seamless gaming experience to all of their customers. However, sometimes technology can provide a stumbling block in the user getting the full experience and range of options on offer.

A common term you may hear if you have downloaded a mobile sports betting app or regularly place bets online is ‘geolocation.’ This technology pinpoints your exact location to determine if you can legally place a bet. For example, you may have downloaded a sports betting app in New Jersey and registered successfully. However, you then leave the state and travel somewhere where betting is not yet legal. You then login to the account, try to place a bet but are blocked. This is geolocation performing its duty of not allowing bets in states where it is illegal.

Geolocation error can be a make or break when placing your bets. It’s not just sportsbook users facing these problems, you can also get player location and geolocation errors with mobile casinos.

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The sportsbooks we have found that has the best and most reliable & accurate geolocation feature are:

DraftKings geolocation performed the best when we tested this across several states and state borders. This was closely followed by BetMGM Sportsbook which also worked very well. If you have issues with either of these books, then follow these steps below. A good way to overcome issues like this is to use 2 betting apps then you can always use the other if one doesn’t work.

The sportsbook we had most issues with was FanDuel. We saw the FanDuel geocomply no token error quite a lot and would suggest using DraftKings or BetMGM sportsbook over FanDuel as it’s a persistent issue.

Current Issues with Geolocation

Let’s take a look at an example of the problems that sportsbooks encounter with their customers and geolocation. There is a bettor in New Jersey who has downloaded a mobile sport betting app and is ready to bet. They go to place their bet, which is rejected because they have ‘failed’ the geolocation test. The sportsbook then wonders how this has happened? You may launch an app and see the error “geolocation not working” which can be annoying. As annoying as they are, player location checks are a legal requirement from a sportsbook.

This is a pertinent question amid the ongoing discussion about and expansion of mobile and online sports betting. The rules and regulations around legal sports betting state sportsbooks must use geolocation technology and are only allowed to accept bets from players physically present in-state or face hefty fines. Sportsbook geolocation issues

For this technology to work, it requires a combination of software and hardware designed to “fence” devices. So, if we take New Jersey as an example, as mobile sports betting is legal, the state is virtually “fenced” so players there can place their bets without hassle. The issues arise and get complicated when you consider other states, such as Mississippi, where mobile sports betting is legal but only on-site at physical casinos. This means a different kind of ‘geofence’ needs to be adopted.

Geolocation vendors such as GeoComply must be flexible to overcome common issues. For example, in some states, sports betting won’t occur in casinos, but rather in tiny venues that are difficult to find. In places like these, hardware needs to be installed to prevent players from placing bets until they are inside a location with an interactive sportsbook.

It is not just sportsbooks that have issues. You may also experience geolocation issues with online casinos as well as they also rely on the same technology and software.

Player location check

As a bettor, one of the most annoying phrases we come across is player location check unable to verify location. So what exactly is player location check? What this effectively means is your device cant speak to the sportsbook and confirm where you are. We can usually get around this issue by installing a plugin (such as GeoComply, or GeoGuard) or making sure that location settings are turned on from our cell. These need to either be set to on all the time or when using the app. We show you below in details how to do this.

No matter what state you are trying to bet in, it is a legal requirement by a regulated sportsbook to prove your location.

How Sportsbooks Could Overcome Geolocation Issues

One option open to sportsbooks to work around issues such as the one mentioned above in remote locations is to train route operators who service betting kiosks in how the technology works. Another option could be installing multiple hardware pieces, so if one breaks down, you have another reliable one still working.

Many state lawmakers have expressed concern about how geofencing will work in practice in their locations. It may be the case that geolocation needs to become even more accurate, to the inch, to stop potential breaches.

What to do if you have location issues with the sportsbook?

A question we are often asked is why do we get geolocation issues and how can we fix them. If you have problems with the sportsbook confirming your location, there are a few steps we use. If you see Draftkings location not found, for example, try these steps below.

  • Make sure you are physically in a legalized state
  • Make sure location settings are turned on in the settings
  • If both of the above are done, try restarting your phone
  • If this fails, uninstall the app and download it again
  • Allow location settings again, open the app & login

Normally toggling your location on and off, then restarting your phone should fix any issues you may have with a sportsbook app and the geolocation settings.

If you are still experiencing issues, reach out to the sportsbook in question customer support team as there may be an issue with your account.

Turning location setting on from your mobile

It is essential the sportsbook can access your location and geolocate me. It is very easy to do this. If you use an iPhone, iPad, or even iPad, you can find this setting in:

  1. Settings
  2. Privacy
  3. Location services (toggle on)
  4. Access the app and confirm to share location

Sportsbook geolocation problems

If you use any Android handset or tablet, location settings can be found in:

  1. Settings
  2. Location (toggle set to on)
  3. App permissions
  4. Find the app
  5. Select Allow all the time or when using the app

DraftKings geolocation settings

If you are using an Android mobile, or tablet, you may see the error Android location services not working. If this happens, follow the steps above and this should fix the issue.

Is geolocation or Geocomply always accurate?

They are as close to perfect as you can get, but like with any technology they have issues every now and then (think mobile phone or wifi signal dropping). They can pinpoint your location to within a few inches when outside, but there may be issues when you are indoors as walls and roofs can block the signal. The technology used in PA online sportsbooks and NJ online casinos is extremely accurate.

Like any piece of technology, it is never 100% accurate and will always throw up some complications from time to time. How do you get around these issues? Well, we use at least 2 sportsbooks so that if we are having issues with 1, we have a backup to allow us to get that bet on.

DraftKings Sportsbook geolocation

Why do sportsbooks need Geolocation?

As online gambling is not legal in every state, a sportsbook will need to prove you are in a state that does allow online betting (or casino). The best way to do this is to use your location feature that is built into your mobile. Geolocation (often offered up by Geocomply) can pinpoint your location to within a few inches and is often very accurate. However, like a lot of technology, it has its moments and never works 100% all the time.

If you use a desktop computer or a laptop, you may need to use a geolocation plugin (also called geocomply plugin) on your internet browser. In a similar fashion to your mobile, this can confirm your location using your IP address.

As this technology is still quite new and in its infancy, we only expect this to get better and more accurate. This will hopefully lead to less frustration and issues. It is illegal to use a VPN to try and spoof your location and is not something we recommend you do. Players trying to use a DraftKings VPN will not be able to access the site as there is the software to detect you are using a VPN.

In the meantime, you can use one of the recommended sportsbooks that we feel have the best geolocation access. If you need any additional help, you can always get us on twitter @Gamble_USA and we will try our best to help.

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