Player data is usually protected and treated confidentially
Due to the current occasion, we decided to write this article to explain to some of you how far a player’s data is protected and how a poker room reacts to it when fraudulent activities occur.
First of all, of course, it must be clarified what is meant by fraudulent activities and which occur more often than you think.
- Credit card fraud
- Collusion (team play)
- The use of a bot
- identity theft
- Fake Documents
- Hacked Neteller / Skrill Accounts
All these sound like an excerpt from the Criminal Code and part of it is. Where money is involved, it is also cheated, that has always been the case and will always remain so. It is no different with online poker. Every day, poker rooms deal with a lot of crimes.
The procedure of poker rooms here is very different and depends on the type of offense, the damage and of course also from which country the player comes and whether the provider has official licenses and acts legally.
The consequences vary from poker room to poker room and also depend on the offense
Let’s just take the Winning Poker Network (WPN) as an example. Everyone knows that this is a pure offshore company that has no official offices at all and acts illegally in all countries. You don’t have to gloss over anything, that’s exactly the way it is and not otherwise. But what should WPN, which is based in Costa Rica, do without licenses if a player from Germany commits credit card fraud or forgery of documents? The answer is relatively simple, you can’t do anything. Of course, this should not be a call to do some stupid stuff there and of course, WPN tries to protect itself like any other provider. It was just an example.
But if you do something like this at PokerStars or PartyPoker / Bwin, things look very different. These providers are highly reputable, have many points of view in Europe, and also work with licenses in various European countries; therefore the are possibilities to take action against illegal activities.
Whether you do this depends on the offense and the damage done. If someone uses a poker bot, it is actually a criminal offense, but in such a case no legal action is taken or an advertisement is created. Other players are harmed and not the poker room itself. You lock the affected player account, keep the balance and thus compensate players who were disadvantaged by the bot. Thing ticks off!
With Collusion (Team Play), the same game as with a bot, a players’ accounts and credit are blocked and affected players are compensated. Here too, the matter is ticked off.
If the poker room is directly damaged, it gets serious
The situation is similar with forged documents. Of course, this is also a criminal offense, but if there is no other damage, the player account is simply closed and done. It would definitely work in a so-called “gray market” like Germany – but it has not kicked off yet. In a country where there is uniform regulation, this will certainly be reported directly.
It gets interesting with credit card fraud and identity theft. It happens every now and then that players make deposits with stolen credit cards and even create a fake identity and play with it. It is also not uncommon for a player’s account to be simply created via a buddy or family member without their knowledge and then possibly also using the credit card. It all sounds extreme, but it happens more often than you think.
Additionally, hacked Neteller / Skrill accounts are not uncommon and such accounts are often used to deposit money or moved.
As soon as the poker room is damaged by a chargeback, for whatever reason, it gets serious. This will directly damage the poker room. For example, let’s take a chargeback of € 2,000 through a stolen credit card or a hacked account, or whatever. The bank blocks the transaction and immediately posts the amount back on the grounds that it was a fraudulent unapproved transaction. This means that the provider suddenly lacks € 2,000. If it were only about € 200-300, it’s possible to simply book it as a loss and not think about it further.
The higher the damage, however, the more important it becomes for the provider. Criminal charges are always made for higher amounts, mostly against unknown persons because incorrect or stolen data is used. The provider then, of course, passes on all data, IP addresses and other information regarding the activity of the player account and the transactions. However, this actually only happens if there is a serious crime or, depending on the country if there is uniform regulation where even the smallest offense must be reported to the supervisory authorities.
Of course, the poker room will also try to take legal action to claim the damage if, for example, a child uses the father’s credit card or the man uses the wife’s card. In such situations, the legal situation is not as clear as some think. Sure, the customer runs to the bank and says “Hey my credit card was used without my knowledge in the casino” and the bank closes the card directly and files it as fraud and unauthorized transaction. But of course, it is not that simple and if it comes to such a case in court, the provider is the winner in almost all cases since this is not a typical credit card fraud. In such cases, the perpetrator or the cardholder not only expect the repayment of the amount in dispute, but also high court and lawyer costs. As a player, you should think carefully about what you do.
The higher the amount and damage of the poker room, the greater the chance that it will have civil and criminal consequences for the player. Poker providers are not stupid and the big names in the scene that work with official licenses and operate in the EU have the opportunity to do something about it.
Especially when it comes to criminal offenses such as hacked accounts, credit card fraud or forgery of documents to a greater extent, the provider has to take action automatically so as not to lose his license.