It's been a busy week in the world of casino news with headlines ranging from straight business to straight bizarre. We'll start with the straightforward news out of Ontario, Canada and then move into the wacky realm involving a fish tank hacking attempt.
Ontario Begins Casino Operator Hiring Process
As the government of Ontario looks to spur a gambling boom they have begun examining potential private operators to run their casinos and thousands of slot machines in the Greater Toronto Area. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. will be tasked with the job.
There are three companies that have made the final cut, which includes Canada's Brookfield Asset Management, American giant Caesars Entertainment, and Malaysian gaming titan Genting Group.
This has again spurred conversation as to whether the city of Toronto - the biggest in Canada - should build a casino downtown. It could revive the convention center or pave the way for a waterfront makeover, but detractors feel like that would bring a lot of troublemakers to the area.
At any rate, the winner of the bidding process will earn a minimum of $72 million in US dollars per year over the length of the 22-year deal, along with up to 70% of the revenue from the casinos, which brought in about $1 billion in 2016. It is a very lucrative deal for the company that gets it, provided that they can prove that they can come up with new ways to increase revenue.
Hackers Use Fish Tank in Order to Hack Casino
Casinos have had to boost their security when it comes to hackers in recent years, but you can't stop every attack. File this story away as one that cybersecurity teams probably never saw coming.
Hackers have pulled off a unique attack on an unnamed North American casino which had a fish tank. While that may sound bizarre, the connection is that this fish tank had the ability to connect to the internet, which allowed it to have automatic feedings - along with temperature adjustments and other options. The hackers got into the casino's system through the fish tank and managed to take 10 gigabytes of data while they were there.
The report comes from Darktrace, which deals with cybersecurity and identifies threats to a client's network. Once Darktrace got involved, the threat was nullified, but it was too little, too late as the hackers had still managed to pull out that data. To this point, it's unclear how the hackers plan to use the data.
As we move into an age where everything will become connected, from refrigerators to light bulbs to thermostats, security systems will be looking to get smarter to protect every potential entrance to the network.