There is only one legal poker operator in Nevada. WSOP.com is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment.
Recently, a pro poker player, Sara Cholhagian Ralston, partnered with Steve Yeager of D-Las Vegas to work on an online poker cheating bill. This bill would hugely affect Caesars.
The new bill is supposed to direct the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) to publish a list of players that cheat at online poker sites. Usually, cheaters use different IP addresses and fake screen names to play at online poker sites.
This makes it difficult to identify them and ban them from playing. In fact, an operator can ban a fake player and IP address only for the actual human to create another fake account and use a different IP address to play. This creates a lot of work for the operator trying to identify cheaters and ban their accounts.
Caesars Entertainment representatives have also aired this problem. The company has told the Assembly Judiciary Committee that the cheating poker bill would burden the operator.
Bill AB380 was introduced on March 22, 2023. The bill is designed to smoke out players that cheat at online poker rooms. It would require a poker operator to submit names and IP addresses of accounts they have banned from their sites for cheating.
Cheating Is in the Purview of the NGCB
One Caesars lobbyist thinks that the gambling law has already addressed the issue of cheating. Mike Alonso noted that listing cheaters publicly would lead to expensive litigation. The lobbyist thinks some listed players will sue gambling operators for damaging their reputations.
He also feels that players who lost money to cheaters will want compensation by listed cheaters. Ideally, Alonso predicts that listing cheaters on a black book will be burdensome.
Alonso stated that “Caesars cooperates with Nevada’s gaming control board by providing reports.”
He told the Assembly Judicial Committee that Caesars does not determine who cheated at an online poker site. Instead, the operator provides a report for the law enforcement agency to determine cheaters following a lengthy process.
WSOP.com is the only online poker operator in Nevada. It launched soon after the state legalized online poker.
How Players Cheat at Online Poker Rooms
There are several ways players can cheat in an online poker room. The most common way is where players scheme.
This is where players work together behind the scenes to mislead a common opponent (s). These players usually share messages secretly and communicate ways to beat other players on the table. It is almost impossible to spot this kind of cheating.
Another common cheating strategy is where a player uses a bot or data mining software. This software gathers the hand history of a player and helps the cheating player to predict the opponent’s next moves.
The vice president of online poker at Caesars Digital told the Assembly Judiciary Committee that the company has strategies to curb these types of cheating. Danielle Barille said that WSOP.com monitors every hand using an advanced algorithm and staff.
WSOP.com flags IP addresses that change, and accounts detected using prohibited software. The operator also investigates accusations made through customer support.
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