Partypoker announced this week that it shut down 57 bot accounts in October as part of ongoing fraud detection efforts. The crackdown included the confiscation of $15,627 in account funds.
In detailing these latest moves, partypoker noted that suspending these accounts was part of the latest figures in its “ongoing war on fraudulent bot accounts.”
Partypoker battles bots, returns funds to players
A poker bot is a software program written to play against other players. The bots make use algorithms and mathematical formulas to play against human players.
Some bots are successful in siphoning away funds from other online poker players. Unscrupulous “players” may make use of several bots on differing platforms with hopes of regular profits. Bots usually violate a site’s terms of service.
As part of partypoker’s bot-busting efforts, the full amount seized in October was redistributed to all affected players.
“Partypoker encourages players to continue reporting all suspicious activity at its tables,” the site noted in a news release. “Partypoker promises to investigate all incidents reported.”
As with other poker sites, party invests in resources at safeguarding the safety of its players. That effort is spearheaded by a special poker fraud team made up of former poker pros.
This team investigates suspicious activity and aids in uncovering unscrupulous accounts. In the coming months, partypoker will continue updating players on the account closures made every month.
Part of a continued crackdown on bot usage
The latest moves by partypoker have been part of an industry wide effort to curb bots being used on online poker platforms. PokerStars and others have made attempts to rid sites of them.
With the prevalence of bots and artificial intelligence, Morgan Stanley even listed that as a reason to downgrade online poker stocks.
“This may be the first time that the investment world has taken a serious look at whether AI poses an existential risk to the business of online poker,” Online Poker Report noted in September. “It is, however, a problem that players and operators have worried about since the boom years.”
Some in the industry fear that the fear of bots and AI will deter players from getting in the online poker action. That could hamper efforts to grow the industry just as Pennsylvania has legalized online poker in the US.
Also in recent months, underground offshore sites have also revealed efforts to elimination of bots
PokerStars outlines security efforts in expanding into US
In August 2018, PokerStars gave a presentation to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as part of its efforts to launch in the state. The company touched on the issue of bots as part of its licensure efforts.
PokerStars noted that its protocols and safeguards are able to catch 89% of collusion efforts and 90% of bots. While these operators’ efforts may not be foolproof, they point to an industry trying to keep the game between humans.
More than 172 billion hands have been dealt on the PokerStars platform. The company outlined some of its security efforts and employs more than 240 security personnel at six offices around the world.
That personnel make use of proprietary fraud management systems to make sure the games are secure. The company employs another 65 employees to monitor for game integrity.
With money on the line, however, those efforts will need to continue. Player safety and security will be important caveats of growing the game beyond the four legal US states of New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.