PartyPoker Identifies and Closes Another 91 Bot Accounts in April
Partypoker has published the second update in what it promises will be a series of monthly updates regarding “bot” (automated-playing) accounts playing on party sites, which after being identified are closed, with the related account balances seized and redistributed to affected players. In the month of April, party closed a total of 94 bot accounts and seized roughly $182,500, meaning the average (mean) seized from each identified bot account was nearly $2,000.
The bot takedowns occurred on both party’s dot-com site, which is available to most of the world, and on its dot-eu sites that offer games in the ring-fenced western European countries of France and Spain. A total of 39 bot accounts were shuttered on the dot-com site, accounting for a total of $143,908.10 in seized funds, or nearly $3,600 on average per account.
Bot closures on the France and Spain sites were higher in number (55), but those 55 seizures accounted for €34,546.17 (about $38,600 in US dollars), for a median balance seized less than a fifth the average seized on the dot-com platform. That in large part reflects the reality that ring-fenced markets choke off both higher-volume and higher-stakes play to a significant degree.
Party’s first update a month earlier declared that the company had seized 277 bot accounts over a four-month period spanning December 2018 through March 2019. This update also continues the trend that most such illicit accounts, which operate in direct violation of party’s Terms of Service (ToS). As in the first update, party itself generally identifies more than three quarters of the bot accounts that it identifies and closes. However, player reports offer valuable contributions as well. In April, 15 of the 39 dot-com accounts closed were initially flagged via player complaints, and five of the 55 France/Spain bots were shut down after player complaints as well. (There is no indication here that any of party’s US-based sites, meaning New Jersey, have been affected to date by bots; in addition to being against those sites’ service terms, such bot use is also subject to criminal penalty under New Jersey gambling law.)
Party also asks that its worldwide customers continue to notify its dedicated bot-chasing team by emailing [email protected]. partypoker promises to investigate all each incident reported.
The unsigned blog entry added, “partypoker 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.” Previously, party announced that the team was small but dedicated solely to pursuing cheating activity on the site.
Party continues being among the vanguard of online poker sites who are assuming a newly active role in shutting down the pernicious bot accounts, the use of which is intended to slowly drain funds from legitimate players at the low- to mid-stakes tables where such bots are usually enjoyed. Such bots are more often found in cash games but are increasingly present in tourney offerings as well. Party to date has not offered any specifics regarding which stakes and formats have been most afflicted by the bots to date.