MGM Resorts Reeling From Cybersecurity Attack, But It Did Not Impact BetMGM In New York

Written By Dan Holmes on September 19, 2023 - Last Updated on September 20, 2023
sign for casino owned by MGM Resorts, which updated how latest ransomware attack affected BetMGM Sportsbook in New York and Empire City Casino in Yonkers

A serious cybersecurity attack which targeted MGM Resorts and crippled servers and other systems at the Empire City Casino in Yonkers has fortunately not affected online betting apps.

The hacker groups known as Scattered Spider and ALPHV both took credit for the incident. Empire City Casino experienced interruptions to its reservation system, as well as the MGM free play on some slots. However, the gaming floor never shut down, and according to the casino website there are currently no issues.

The BetMGM Sportsbook app and its associated New York sports betting website have not been impacted by a ransomware attack that was revealed last week.

Ransomware attack did not affect BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM Sportsbook NY was reportedly never impacted by a ransomware attack that led to the shutdown of MGM Resorts websites, as well as systems within MGM casinos in at least six states.

Bettors in New York have not seen interruptions to the functionality of the BetMGM sports betting app or website in the state. Betting on the NFL was not impacted last weekend. Odds have been listed, and accounts have been working fine, according to three BetMGM mobile app users in NY.

The hacker attacks on the MGM-operated casinos is reportedly similar to one that was aimed at Caesars casinos earlier this month. Caesars revealed in a statement last week that they paid a ransom in the neighborhood of $15 million to a hacker organization, possibly the same one responsible for infiltrating computer systems at Empire City and other MGM locations.

Caesars has said the hack only affected its Caesars Rewards program and that its online betting operations — on apps such as Caesars Sportsbook NY — were unaffected.

A ransomware attack is a malicious threat where a criminal actor takes control of computer systems and demands a payment to release them back to the owner. It’s unclear whether MGM negotiated with the party responsible for this current cybersecurity breach or not. It first became evident that MGM and Empire City Casino had been hacked on Sept. 11.

Betting platform for online sportsbooks not threatened

According to an article by WIRED Magazine, the lack of integration between the systems in physical casinos and the technology platforms that are used by online sportsbooks was a benefit in this latest hack. BetMGM and other sportsbook apps typically use betting platforms that are provided by a third-party vendor.

The attacks on MGM and Caesars were targeted at servers that held data about hotel guests, visitors to the casinos and members of rewards and loyalty programs, per reports from Bloomberg.

Briefly last week, MGM pushed a message to its online sportsbook users in New York explaining that the cybersecurity breach was not a threat to sportsbook users. An email was also sent to members of the BetMGM Rewards program, calming any worries over use of its online products.

If you are a user of BetMGM sports betting app and have concerns for your private information, use the “help” tab in the sportsbook to contact BetMGM.

Status of Empire City Casino in wake of ransomware breach

The Empire City Casino, which is owned and operated by MGM Resorts, did not experience any shutdown time due to the cybersecurity attack by hackers last week. However, several systems were impacted, such as ATMs, some POS (Point of Sale) systems and the ability to use free play on slots machines.

However, according to Empire City Casino welcome desk staff, all systems are working at the Yonkers resort/casino. Visitors can play slots and play other gaming tables, as well as access cash machines, use debit/credit cards, and have checks cashed.

If you were a customer of Empire City in the recent past and have concerns over your data, you can contact MGM Resorts at the 1-800 number for the casino in Yonkers.

Photo by John Locher / AP Photo
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a freelance writer for PlayNY. An author of three books about sports, he previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. Dan enjoys writing, running and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.

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