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Was Gaming Control Board website hacked? That’s still unclear

Updated January 26, 2024 - 9:10 am

The Nevada Gaming Control Board website was down late Thursday, but it’s unclear if the site had been hacked as suggested by messages on Google’s search engine.

A source familiar with the situation said no financial data or personal information have been exposed.

Late Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board posted that it took its website down — a common tactic used to protect itself against cyberattackers.

“The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) became aware earlier this week that its public-facing website had been compromised,” the board announced on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“NGCB technology personnel initiated immediate steps to protect the website by taking it offline. The NGCB is working with experts to thoroughly assess the situation. While working to restore the full website, the NGCB is preparing to publish a temporary website for those seeking to access NGCB information and relevant weblinks.

“Thank you for your patience while the full website is restored.”

As of Friday morning, the website appears to be restored.

The Gaming Control Board is a governmental agency that regulates gaming and law enforcement of the state’s gaming laws. The public-facing website provides board agendas, statistics, casino indices, regulations and biographical information about Control Board members and gaming commissioners.

Thursday’s Nevada Gaming Commission meeting was broadcast as planned Thursday through the board’s YouTube channel. Commissioners made no mention of the site being down.

Gaming officials are sensitive to cybersecurity breaches, particularly after the state’s largest casino companies — MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Inc. — were cyberattacked in late summer 2023.

MGM weathered nine days of websites being down, but didn’t capitulate to ransom demands. MGM opted to shut some of its own computer systems down to prevent them from being compromised to hackers.

Caesars reportedly paid a $15 million ransomware demand, but never skipped a beat resulting from downed sites. The company has not confirmed ever paying a ransom.

The two companies ended up losing millions of dollars in lost reservations and inconvenience, but MGM said it recovered most of its money through insurance.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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