PartyPoker Announces Latest Bot-Account Closures
GVC Holdings-owned partypoker has released its latest monthly update in the site’s ongoing war to rid its offerings of poker “bot” accounts, meaning virtual players whose actions are controlled by software programs rather than human players. In its update covering the month of August 2019, partypoker has shut down another 48 confirmed bot accounts that had been playing on party’s global (dot-com) or firewalled for France and Spain (dot-eu) platforms.
In August, according to a partypoker blog update, 36 accounts were identified as bots and closed on the dot-com site, accounting for a combined total of $148,668 in seized funds. Another 12 accounts were confirmed as bots operating on the France-Spain dot-eu site, accounting for another €164,878 in funds seized from cheating accounts.
All told, in nine months of public reporting since party announced late last year that it would release the details of such bot-account seizures, party has shuttered a combined 649 accounts across the two Euro-centric platforms. (Any bots found on party’s limited US-based sites cannot be reported in this manner, due to US regulatory requirements.) A total of $1,174,758 has been seized from cheating dot-com accounts to date, while another €164,878 has been forfeited from dot-eu (France and Spain) cheaters.
According to party, “The poker room continues to invest in resources aimed at safeguarding the safety of its players, spearheaded by a specialist Poker Fraud Team comprising a collection of former poker professionals whose duty is to investigate suspicious activity and aid partypoker in ridding the site of unscrupulous accounts.” While party’s small but dedicated Fraud Team uncovers most of the bot activity through the site’s detection protocols, some closures continue to originate from player complaints. As such, party continues to ask players who believe they have been impacted by bot activity to report any suspicious activity at its tables, by emailing [email protected].
While partypoker’s move to publish at least a portion of its game-integrity stats has been welcomed by a large majority of the playing public, it has yet to be joined by most other major platforms in making many of these closures public. European-based sites and networks are generally forbidden to name specific cheaters or cheating accounts under the auspices of Europe’s far-reaching data- and privacy-protection laws, which means that offering aggregated information is the alternative.
However, as blind-referenced in a post by Microsoft Poker Network’s Alex Scott a few weeks back, party’s bot-seizure numbers still exist in something of a vacuum. Party has never announced what percentage of all accounts have come under scrutiny for suspected bot play, while MPN disclosed such information not long ago in its own version of a public reckoning on online poker’s battles against bots. Unfortunately, the smaller MPN has subsequently announced that its network will close in 2020; though MPN will likely continue to offer poker as a small, standalone site, it appears its publishing of game-integrity numbers will be a one-time occurrence. That may well leave party as the only major platform willing to make any part of its bot-seizure results public. Party added, “The site pledges to update players on the account closures made every month.”