“Abusive sports bettors basically take the gambling out of gambling. That’s not fair to our honest players, and not the kind of experience we’re interested in providing,” says Mitchell Willoughby, Risk Control Operations Manager at LeoVegas. “When we confirm that a player is abusing our sports betting business, we use iovation FraudForce.”

LeoVegas is Europe's premiere GameTech company and is at the forefront of using state-of-the-art technology for mobile gaming. A large part of their success can be credited to an extreme product and technology focus coupled with effective and data-driven marketing.

That’s where iovation FraudForce fits in.

“Originally, we implemented iovation FraudForce to help us stop bonus abusers,” recalls Mitchell. “We were checking for bonus abuse manually, which wasn’t scalable.”

To encourage account creation, LeoVegas offered free spins on their games without verifying new accounts. There was no limit to the potential pay-off for those spins, and no cost to users. A new player could win €5,000 or more.

“It can be difficult to measure exactly the potential loss from bonus abuse, but we knew that we didn’t want to find out the extent of the problem. If word spread that we were an easy target for bonus abusers, it would only get worse,” Mitchell explains. “We needed to identify cases where one device might be behind dozens of accounts. It’s simple enough to find reuse of a mobile number, but finding subtly altered details across multiple new accounts took minutes of manual review. For an honest customer expecting an instant payout, those minutes could have a real impact on their experience and their perception of our brand.”

Easy decision and transition to iovation

LeoVegas needed to free its fraud analysts from rote tasks. Instead of manually checking if 20 accounts were associated through shared personal details, they needed a solution that would recognize users’ devices instantly and persistently. And more importantly, be able to uncover otherwise invisible connections.

“I was very familiar with iovation FraudForce because we used it at my previous employer,” says Mitchell. “I was glad that LeoVegas had decided to implement it when I joined the company. We placed equal emphasis on minimizing the potential impact to genuine customers, and addressing the technical requirements that would enable us to prevent revenue loss. After a smooth setup, it wasn’t long before my team began using iovation FraudForce to stop bonus abusers, end-user policy violations, and investigate account takeover complaints.”

When Mitchell’s team received a complaint about a compromised account, they launched their investigation with iovation FraudForce. If the player’s activity came from the same device, the same IP address, and approximately the same time of day, then they would conclude that the customer might be using the account takeover complaint to chargeback recent losses.

“If it was an actual case of account takeover, then we would expect a difference in device details when they were logging in,” explains Mitchell. “We would take a different course of action, and use iovation FraudForce to block the device used to take over the account. However, if we confirmed that the player had a problem with gambling, we would use iovation FraudForce to uphold our commitment to responsible gaming. If we concluded that the player was simply using the account takeover complaint to recover honest losses through a chargeback, then we might decide to block that device.”

Early success excites expansion into sports betting division

LeoVegas has iovation FraudForce integrated at multiple points in the player journey. The device recognition solution aggregates thousands of permutations of device attributes to instantly identify each visiting device and continue to recognize it over time, without requiring users’ directly identifying personally identifying information (PII). Because the device serves as a proxy for the user, players’ privacy is protected by design.

When any of iovation’s 4,900 active users—at LeoVegas, another gaming provider, or in an entirely different industry— confirms fraud or abuse on their platforms, they log detailed evidence against the offending device in iovation’s Intelligence Center. With 66 million confirmed reports of fraud and abuse, and 5.9 billion devices on record, the Intelligence Center informs decisions about most visiting devices, even those never seen before on LeoVegas’s digital properties.

“The other subscriber evidence feature gives us information across a database of operators from various industries, assisting us with making more informed decisions. That helps us a lot,” Mitchell says.

Following the success against bonus abusers, LeoVegas recently implemented iovation FraudForce in their sports betting division. When that team flags accounts on suspicion of abusive behavior, they have far more detail with which to determine if winnings have been won fairly. Initial results have surpassed expectations.

“FraudForce has helped me think from a different point of view,” Mitchell says. “Rather than thinking reactively—asking ‘How can I cut down on chargebacks in a specific market, or chargebacks from specific providers?’—I think proactively. I ask myself ‘how can we make use of iovation to separate the good traffic from the bad?’ That has been a good thing to know.”