Geolocation is a technology that pinpoints your exact location to ensure that you are actually in a state where it is legal to bet on sports.
As mobile sports betting becomes legal in more and more states, so does the importance of knowing a user’s location to determine whether the user is in a state where mobile sports betting is legal. Enter geolocation, or you’ll also see this called geofencing.
The screenshot above is from DraftKings and appears when you first log into your account. DraftKings is using geolocation to make sure that the state you are physically located in at that present time is able to legally bet on sports.
For example, let’s say that you are located in Virginia and use the DraftKings and FanDuel apps. If you were to take a quick trip down I-495 into Maryland, you would no longer be able to place a bet on these apps. You would get an alert saying your location was unable to be confirmed and you will not be able to place any bets while you are currently located in Maryland.
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How do Different Sportsbooks use Geolocation?
Unfortunately, some sportsbooks are better at confirming location than others. Sometimes you will actually be in a state where it is legal and still get a location error. If only technology always worked perfectly!
Generally speaking, the top graded sportsbooks in regards to having the most reliably accurate geolocation, in order, are: BetMGM Sportsbook, PointsBet Sportsbook, and DraftKings Sportsbook.
FanDuel Sportsbook is known to have the most issues. Sometimes all it takes is a quick refresh of the app or browser, but understandably it can be frustrating if you are trying to lock in a bet using FanDuel because they have the best odds and you continue to have a location issue. This can happen frequently and when it does some troubleshooting will be in order, which will be detailed later.
What is Geocomply and How Does Geocomply Work?
This is where things can get complicated. Geocomply is a third party plugin that, in order to use non-mobile devices (such as a laptop), the user would need to download in order to place a bet on a sportsbooks website such as DraftKings or FanDuel.
When signing up or logging in for the first time on your computer, you will receive a message like the one above asking you to install the plugin.
Geocomply is a software that can pinpoint your precise location to confirm that you are actually in a state where sports betting is legal. Sportsbooks can have difficulty with their own software to detect location fraud, so instead they partner with a vendor such as geocomply to do this for them.
As sports betting becomes more and more popular, ensuring the user is betting in a legalized state becomes increasingly important as well. A sportsbook could get in big, big trouble if a user somehow beats the system and places a bet on their app/website in a state where it is illegal to do so. So, Geocomply helps them safeguard against this risk.
There is also a mobile Geocomply app, but that isn’t a requirement for most sportsbooks. The reason why Geocomply is generally not necessary for phones is because any modern cell phone has a GPS receiver. So, because of this technology, it is much easier to pinpoint your exact location. Think about when you are using Google Maps – it almost always has your exact location within inches. Sportsbook apps also have the same ability to pinpoint your location.
Luckily, installing Geocomply is fairly easy.
It is a browser attachment that looks like the blue “G” in the picture above that can be downloaded with the click of a button. The link to download can be found with a simple Google search.
While Geocomply does fix the issue nine times out of 10, there is still going to be that 10% of the time where you are still getting an error regarding your location. Fortunately, there are still steps you can take to fix this.
For starters, a simple refresh of the app or the web page goes a long way. It sounds silly, but more times than not if you are in a valid state but still having issues, if you refresh the page things will be fixed.
If refreshing didn’t work, then the next step would be to make sure you have your location settings turned on. If it is on, then just turn it off and on again. You’d be amazed how many times there is a simple fix for something such as this. Additionally, you need to make sure the Geocomply program has access to location settings on your device. You can see the permissions in the settings or system preferences of your device.
If both of the above are done and still no dice, then a total restart of your device would be the next move. Whether it is your phone or your laptop/desktop, restarting is a nice reset to try and solve whatever issue is going on.
Hopefully, you are all set, but if issues persist then the recommendation would be to uninstall and reinstall the app on your phone, or uninstall and reinstall geocomly on your laptop/desktop. Then try again once reinstalled.
If you still have no luck then unfortunately the next step would be to contact the support team of the sportsbook to see if there is something with your account that is causing the issue. It is incredibly rare for things to get this far, though. Again, this is all assuming you are located in a state where it is legal.