Our continued progress in tackling bots is crucial in ensuring that 888poker continues to provide an enjoyable, safe, and level playing field for all our players. 888poker said it continued “making steady progress” in 2022 with its continuing crackdown on the use of bots and players using artificial intelligence (AI) software to cheat, refunding a record near-$300,000 to players over the year.
In a statement earlier this month, the operator said it refunded $287,292 to 6,801 players, equating to an average refund of $42 per player. It also permanently banned 252 accounts, but 888poker didn’t disclose how many accounts had been involved in cheating.
According to the operator, the largest percentage of players (18%) to receive a refund were in the UK, with refunds totaling $50,379. Germany had the second-highest number of accounts refunded (886), with a total of $38,997 refunded. Canada was third, with 11% of refunded accounts, with refunds totaling $38,614. It did not provide data for the US.
“Our continued progress in tackling bots is crucial in ensuring that 888poker continues to provide an enjoyable, safe, and level playing field for all our players,” said Matan Krakow, Poker Offering Group Manager.
“This has been driven not only by our increased investment in our detection capabilities but also through the continued support and cooperation of our players, who have an important role to play in helping provide us with vital information about players they think are using AI and Real-Time Assistance (RTA) software.”
888poker credited “new technology” with helping it track down cheaters. The operator also said it had recently “expanded our fair-gaming-focused team to develop tech monitoring software further.
According to the operator, it has “hired several leading data scientists and employed professional poker players to work alongside the team to detect bots and RTA.”
While the $287,292 seized by 888poker is a record, it could be a record for one or more reasons. The operator may have vastly improved its detection capabilities, or there may have been an increase in fraudulent activity aimed at 888poker. It’s also possible that both scenarios have been at play.
We will continue to do all in our power to ensure we keep poker fun and fair as part of our Made to Play strategy, and listening to our players will be a key factor to progress on this front. “We will continue to do all in our power to ensure we keep poker fun and fair as part of our Made to Play strategy, and listening to our players will be a key factor to progress on this front,” Krakow said.
888poker has been transparent about its efforts to protect gaming integrity.
The operator announced it had shut down 85 fraudulent accounts caught using AI software in November 2021 and had recovered nearly $100,000.
Over 4,000 players were compensated in that seizure, with the average reimbursement totaling more than $1,150 per account. The report was believed to be the first time the operator had ever made information about money seized and accounts closed available to the public.
An update from June 2022 reported that 888poker had redistributed nearly $300,000 to players in more than one year and had refunded more than $80,000 in 2022 at that point in the year.
Other operators are also committed to protecting gaming integrity. Another transparent operator, partypoker, reports how many accounts it closes and how much money it seizes from fraudulent accounts every month.
Earlier this month, partypoker disclosed it had closed more than 2,000 bots and other fraudulent accounts since late 2019.
GGPoker and PokerStars have sporadically published information of accounts closed and amounts seized — but have not committed to making regular reports. WPN, a US-facing offshore network, also provides such data.