888poker has closed down 85 fraudulent accounts, and reimbursed victims, with close to $100,000 in total. The accounts in question were found to have been using real time assistance software known as bots, in order to cheat at the online poker room.
888 was able to compensate over 4000 players, who had fallen prey to the cheats during October. As a consequence, the operator has said that it will henceforth monitor bot activity on a monthly basis.
The announcement is consistent with a recent trend among online poker operators – to be more open about bots found at their sites, the lengths that are being taken to stop the fraudsters, and the compensation that is being paid to the victims.
Head of 888poker, Amit Berkovic had this to say: “We are proud of our continued progress in tackling bots that use software to create an unfair advantage over real-life players.”
The new-found transparency about bots across the spectrum of poker operators, reflects just how important customer confidence is, in the modern era. New players are far rarer now than they were a decade or so, and security is a big factor to consider when choosing a site.
These days, players know that bots are a potential problem and an operator that admits this — and is willing to disclose details — is likely to appear more trustworthy than one that pretends it isn’t happening.
It is something that Berkovic is all to keenly aware of. Tackling the subject head-on, he noted, “We know that online poker players see bots as a concern when choosing their online poker platform, and we are proud to be leading the way in cracking down to ensure that 888poker provides an enjoyable, safe, and level playing field for all.”
Previously, this kind of information would have been guarded more closely but 888 is just one of several operators that has chosen to be more open on the subject.
Partypoker made a commitment to shut down bot accounts in 2018 and has regularly released statements on its progress since. In that time the operator has recovered and reimbursed close to $1.5 million. The number of bots detected, is steadily falling.
Offshore operator WPN, has also joined the crusade – signing up Randy “Nanonoko” Lew as a security consultant and gameplay expert. In the past, the operator has not only banned bot users, but also named and shamed the perpetrators.
Another reason for the transparency might also be that poker rooms feel they are getting better at finding and stopping the fraudsters. 888 says it has built up “sophisticated and innovative methods of detection in recent years.”
Of course, operators have to be careful not to divulge too much information on the tactics they use to find cheaters, but it is clearly something they take very seriously, and invest a lot of resources in.
Berkovic is clear: “We will continue to use a combination of AI, our industry know-how and other monitoring software to crack down on bots,” he said, “and ensure that 888poker is the safe and fair platform of choice for all poker lovers.”