Regular customers of Jake's 58 should be cautious and monitor their personal accounts following a cybersecurity breach that closed the Islandia casino for three days, security experts said Friday.
Jake's reopened at 9:30 a.m. Friday, after it was forced to close Tuesday because of what state Gaming Commission officials said was a "cybersecurity event" at an upstate office of Everi Games Inc., the Las Vegas corporation that runs the state's video lottery betting system.
Gaming Commission officials said Friday the breach was still under investigation.
State gaming officials and a spokesman for Everi said Thursday they don't believe customers' personal information was stolen or lost.
But Steven C. Morgan, a Northport cybersecurity consultant, said customers should take steps to protect their credit card and email accounts. If possible, they should adopt multi-factor authentication to make it more difficult for strangers to access their accounts, he said.
"If there's an upside to major data breaches in any industry, then it's the wake-up call it sends to others," said Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures, a cybersecurity industry researcher and production firm. "Cheating hacks, account takeover and fraud are rampant in the gaming industry and have been so for years."
Jake's 58 customers use player reward cards to collect credits, which may be exchanged for cash awards or prizes such as hotel stays and restaurant meals.
Those cards do not store personal information, Rich Land, an Everi spokesman, said Friday. A company statement on Thursday said "appropriate measures" had been taken to safeguard personal data.
Customers should nonetheless be mindful of suspicious credit card activity, said Vahid Behzadan, a cybersecurity professor at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.
“Just to be on the safe side, it might not be a bad idea for customers of Jake’s 58 to be a little more alert," he said.
Suffolk County Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. president Phil Boyle said Friday that Jake's patrons were in no danger of being hacked, noting that the breach occurred in Everi's Schenectady operations center.
“We were not the ones that had any issues. Nothing was compromised from Jake's perspective," Boyle said, adding that Everi officials had pledged to protect personal data. “I’m sure that they’re going to continue to monitor that, and we will, too.”
Jake's 58 leases its 1,000 video lottery terminals from the gaming commission, which has a contract with Everi to operate the statewide video lottery system.
Besides Jake's, the breach also affected Resorts World Hudson Valley in upstate Newburgh. A Resorts World spokesman said staff there disconnected from the system and did not close on Tuesday.
Boyle declined to estimate losses from having been closed for three days, but Jake's made about $4.9 million in profit for the seven days ending Oct. 14, or about $702,000 per day.
Boyle said casino managers reported crowds that were "above average for a Friday afternoon."
“They tell me it’s a good crowd, and there have been no issues,” he said.