After shutting down its website just hours after launching a new online gaming room that featured the likes of blackjack and roulette, the B.C. Lottery Corporation was forced to shut down the website after an undetermined glitch in the system was discovered. Well, it turns out that that glitch was actually a major problem because more than 100 players registered on the site were able to access the accounts of other players.
The BCLC said that issues such as the traffic load on the BCLC servers along with problems with site performance and other minor glitches created a technical “anomaly” on the site and the only appropriate action was to shut it down. The major issue involved timed-out pages and it was this scenario that allowed newly signed on users to access those players’ accounts because there was a data crossover on the system. The original player was still playing but because of being timed-out due to high traffic volume, new users automatically switched into that game that was still going on. Imagine something like that happened in their poker room and the fallout that would come of it.
One would think that something like this could have been spotted prior to launching the site, but the BCLC said that something like this could not be found during tested because of how unique the factors had to be in order for it to happen. They have also said that there was no evidence of hacking and that claim has already been supported by third party security experts, so it was just a function of jumping into the deep end too soon.
While the investigation goes on regarding this issue, PlayNow.com will remain offline indefinitely which is a huge disappointment for BCLC, but they understand that if they ultimately want this to work, they do have to get it right. Once the investigation is complete, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia, Elizabeth Denham will issue a public report.
As for now, BCLC continues to work diligently with OpenBet (the software company involved with this project) on technical solutions and testing. Once a satisfactory solution has been found, third party security experts will give it a go and only when they are happy with it can the site begin the process of going back online.
With no timeline in site, the prospects of launching their poker room seem further in the future, one wonders how this decision and process will affect the proposed joint poker network BC already has with other provinces like Quebec. If PlayNow.com remains shut down for a long period of time, it is possible that those proposed poker rooms will encounter more issues before being able to launch themselves.