Cyber threats have become an alarming reality for the casino industry in recent times. Notably, this past weekend, the New York State Gaming Commission also faced a digital assault. This cyber incident, leaving the commission’s slot management system temporarily paralyzed on Oct. 17, had repercussions for several New York slot venues. Other recent victims as we reported previously, were casinos and even hospitals in the region.
Brad Maione, a commission representative, clarified the situation to the New York Post, stating, “Everi, the licensed operator of New York’s video lottery gaming central system, experienced a cybersecurity event that remains under investigation.” Maione further emphasized, “The commission has no indication that personal identifiable information was compromised. The Commission continues to monitor the situation.”
The New York State Gaming Commission isn’t the only entity within the casino world grappling with digital adversaries. MGM Resorts faced a cyber onslaught disrupting multiple company operations across the U.S., impacting slot machines. North in Canada, Gateway Casinos met a similar fate in April, forcing several of their casinos to close doors temporarily. Additionally, Caesars Entertainment wrestled with a ransomware attack and opted to settle with a $30 million ransom to retrieve their computer systems, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. For context, MGM has stated that its recent cyber breach could incur costs exceeding $100 million, exclusive of insurance coverage.
Despite the widespread concern, the New York State Gaming Commission believes that the recent attack didn’t compromise any personal information. However, the event certainly set alarm bells ringing across the industry. Reflecting on the incident, James Featherstonhaugh, a co-owner of Saratoga Casino, shared with the Post, “We shut down for a brief period. It got cleared up fairly quickly. It was all the same issue. It got everyone’s attention.”
The rampant cyber incidents costing MGM, Caesars, and Gateway substantial revenue emphasize the critical need for advanced cybersecurity measures. Experts suggest intensified security training could thwart such breaches. Bulletproof Senior Vice President Gus Fritschie voiced his thoughts to the Nevada Independent, saying, “It just goes to show you that anybody is vulnerable.” Fritschie further added, “The focus should be heavily on security awareness training and education. It needs to be a constant battle every day to try and stay ahead of the adversary.”
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