Partypoker closed 121 illegal accounts and seized a total of $175,000 in funds, in line with its intensified crackdown on bot operators. The July closures represent a higher-than-average figure, bringing the total number of accounts closed to 601, since the site started to hunt for unscrupulous accounts back in December 2018.
The accounts were terminated due to suspicious activity which can take many forms, such as potential collusion between multiple players, or utilizing bots and other illegal software designed to give certain players an unfair edge. Over an eight-month period, the site confiscated a total of $1.2 million which has been given back to the player-victims.
On average, the site closes 75 accounts and seizes $147,000 in funds per month in its ongoing effort to eradicate bot activity.
Crackdown Continues
July’s numbers represent partypoker’s second biggest in terms of accounts closed, just behind the 142 account closures it recorded in March. July also ranked third in the amount of funds collected from the closed accounts per month.
Figures show that out of the 121 accounts closed by partypoker last month, 89 were from the dot-com site, while the remaining 32 were dot EU accounts. While the majority of these closures were from the dot-com site, the larger portion of the money being seized came from the Southern European player base – a total of $98,070 was confiscated as a result of the dot-EU account closures compared to the $76,267 seized from dot-com accounts.
While it remains unclear what this data actually means, it could indicate that partypoker has chosen to focus on cleaning up the South European market. It could also be possible that certain individuals behind these illegal accounts have moved over to the dot-EU network in an effort to dodge partypoker’s bot crackdown across its dot-com site.
One thing’s certain – fraudulent online accounts continue to exist despite measures taken by poker operators to get rid of them. Partypoker has been posting monthly updates on their security efforts, assuring players that their safety is a top priority.
Partypoker recently reiterated it is commitment to continuing to invest in resources to better protect its players. The site formed a specialist Poker Fraud Team to investigate fraudulent activity and to aid them in eradicating suspicious accounts.
Ensuring A Safer and Fairer Environment
Starting July 2019, partypoker banned the use of head-up displays or HUDs across all its domains and required players to change their screen names for a “fresh” start, promoting a safer and fairer environment across the site.
Third-party tools such as HUDs traditionally help players in detecting bots. Partypoker’s decision to ban them was initially met with concerns; with some saying the move could put player security at risk.
Partypoker moved to address this by promising better security measures and fraud detection through its specialist poker fraud team. Patrick Leonard, a member of the site’s Player Panel, has welcomed partypoker’s security efforts and expressed confidence that the site will be able to effectively track down suspicious accounts. In a Twitter post, Leonard said the use of HUDs has pushed away the regular recreational players; banning them was a great decision.
Leonard also praised Rob Yong’s FairPlay initiative which he said would effectively promote more secure environments for the online poker industry in general. Rob Yong’s latest idea would allow online poker sites and live casinos to share information on customers who are caught cheating, in a bid to come up with a blacklist of banned players, which will then serve as warning to prevent repeat offenses.
The initiative is currently facing one major legal hurdle though and that is regarding the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation which looks to protect personal data and keep it private. Whether or not FairPlay will eventually take effect in the poker industry remains to be seen, but for rule-abiding players, measures taken by online poker sites are a great help to ensure they’re not being cheated on.
Meanwhile, those players based outside regulated online poker markets in the US should be more cautious as partypoker’s cleanup has shown that players who access unauthorized sites, are exposing themselves to danger and should brace themselves for some unfavorable consequences as there are bound to be bots and other illegal activities taking place.

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