The New York Gaming Commission recently disclosed that a cybersecurity mishap had temporarily interfered with the regular operation of several casinos in the state that use video lottery terminals (VLTs). The state lottery’s central system, located in Schenectady, provides the framework for these slot-like machines.
Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel, located on Long Island, was forced into temporary closure due to this issue. Interestingly, the cybersecurity challenge did not directly impact Jake’s. Instead, it struck the vendor responsible for operating the gaming commission’s central video lottery system.
VLTs, despite their close resemblance to Las Vegas-style slot machines in operation and aesthetic, rely on lottery simulations to determine wins and losses. This interconnected network calculates payouts at a predefined rate, the rhythm of these wins hinging on the aggregate performance of all nine VLT properties.
Everi Holdings, who assumes the task of running the VLT system on behalf of the New York Gaming Commission, was revealed as the primary victim of this cyber incident, which had resulted in last week’s network disruption.
On October 17, 2023, Everi encountered this cybersecurity issue, which continues to undergo investigation, according to official reports from the Gaming Commission. This incident most notably impacted Jake’s 58 on Long Island, causing the gaming floor and over 1,000 VLT machines to cease operating that Tuesday morning.
Jake’s, which is under the management of Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (Suffolk OTB), has recently inaugurated a $200 million expansion of the casino, doubling the gaming positions to 2,000, among other enhancements.
The New York Gaming Commission reassures that no customer information was compromised during this incident. However, details regarding the actual nature of the event, such as possible involvement of a criminal hacking group or a ransom demand, remain undisclosed.
The unsettling memory of recent cyberattacks on MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment has kept the gaming industry vigilant. These disruptions were claimed by an international hacking group called Scattered Spider, who assert to have commandeered six terabytes of data – roughly 39 million document pages.
One patron at another VLT property, Vernon Downs, reported experiencing issues but claimed his concerns were largely ignored. Everi Holdings, while yet to comment on the event, is obligated by securities regulations to disclose if a ransom has been paid, owing to its status as a publicly traded company in the US.
Amid concerns and queries from numerous VLT casino patrons, further information regarding their data security remains eagerly awaited.
Yet, in an increasingly digital world, an upturn in online gaming has also been observed. At West Island Blog, we have compiled a list of the top online casinos for this month, a convenient solution for players seeking to cater to their gaming needs from the comfort and security of their homes. This shift towards online platforms has not only been driven by convenience factors but also by ongoing security concerns in land-based operations. Expect more updates as investigations continue.