888poker refunded over $360k to players affected by bots or RTA tools over the course of 2023, banning 161 offending accounts in the process and making 4068 players whole with the refunds.
The operator shared the exclusive information with pokerfuse first, offering the details of their fight against cheaters in poker at a time when a number of cheating scandals are shaking the very core of the industry.
The accounts in question were banned after being identified as using AI tools or bots, or using real time assistance (RTA) tools during play, both of which are prohibited under the 888poker terms and conditions.
Commenting on the issue as a whole, 888poker’s Head of Poker Offering Matan Krakow told pokerfuse: “Our continued progress in tackling bots stems from the understanding that it is crucial in order to ensure that 888poker continues to provide an enjoyable, safe, and level playing field for all our players.”
888poker Bans & Refunds in a Nutshell:
- 121 player accounts banned in 2023
- 362,893 refunded
- 250k refunded by 888poker directly
- 4068 affected accounts compensated
- 3rd straight year of public reporting and disclosure
888poker Compensates Affected Players
Banning the players who break the terms and conditions of a poker site and confiscating their balances is a fairly common practice, but the real problem is that affected players often stay without compensation.
According to 888poker, those affected by RTA or bot accounts that were discovered in 2023 were fully compensated, with $362,893 in total was distributed to 4068 accounts that were affected.
What’s more, the operator was not able to confiscate all of the funds from the banned accounts, as much of it was withdrawn before the ban, prompting 888 to pay over $250k out of their own pocket.
With this move, the folks at 888poker ensured that players receive proper compensation in cheating cases regardless of the source of the funds, something that certain individuals in the poker community have been inviting poker sites to do for some time.
According to Krakow, 888poker will continue to fight bots and RTA users in 2024 even more vigorously, as they continue working with top notch advisors trained in detecting non-human players and RTA users.
On top of their advisors and software tools being used to detect bots and RTA, Krakow also doubled down on the importance of players in finding cheaters in online poker, inviting all players to share any information or suspicion they might have with the operator’s customer support.
Third Year of Public Disclosure
Disclosing information about bots, cheaters, and banned accounts was not always a practice in online poker, but in 2021 888poker was one of the operators to join a trend of public disclosure and open combat against cheaters.
That year alone, 888poker discovered 85 accounts in breach of the rules and recovered over $100,000 to pay back more than 4000 affected players.
In 2022, similar reports saw the operator confiscate over $300k and pay back 6801 players, displaying a significant boost in fraud detection and player refunds.
This year’s numbers are the highest yet in terms of funds reimbursed, although the overall number of affected accounts was lower than that in 2023.
Overall, 888poker has publically paid back over $750,000 in cash to players affected by bots or RTA and reimbursed over 14,000 of its users with funds over a three-year period, demonstrating a strong commitment to creating a safe space for all its customers to play online poker in.
The model used by 888poker could be employed by other online poker sites as well, especially in terms of transparency and public reporting of such figures on a yearly basis, which would go a long way towards increasing the trust levels of the overall online poker community towards the operators.