Svenska Spel focuses on beating bots after court acquittal

Svenska Spel focuses on beating bots after court acquittal

Thursday, February 25, 2016 Totally Gaming
Fredrik Wastenson said that the operator is continuing to improve its security systems

Svenska Spel has told TotallyGaming.com that it will continue to fight against pokerbots despite a Swedish court overturning fraud convictions against five players who had been found to have used the software.

The Swedish gaming operator handed over evidence three years ago to the police and gambling regulator, showing that at least 14 players had used an online pokerbot to win more than SEK1.6m (€181,000/$200,000).

Five individuals were then found guilty of serious fraud offences, which the individuals appealed, while Svenksa Spel – which had returned SEK3.8m to an estimated 25,000 players affected by the abuse – protested against the apparent leniency of the probationary sentences. However, Sweden’s Court of Appeal has now acquitted the five former customers, and while Svenska Spel does not plan to take the matter any further, Fredrik Wastenson, director of product management, told TotallyGaming.com that the company is determined to promote fair gaming.

“The case has now been decided in the Court of Appeal and unless it is appealed to the Supreme Court, we have to accept the verdict,” said Wastenson. “Regardless of the legal outcome, the use of pokerbots is a violation of Svenska Spel’s rules and terms, which the Court of Appeal also points out in its ruling. We will continue to fend off any use of pokerbots on our poker client.”

Last year, a Russian pot-limit Omaha bot ring was accused of winning an estimated $1.5m at the hands of unsuspected players, and while the software is banned by the majority of gaming operators, the Swedish Court of Appeals said that “it is not proven that the software has been designed so that it has had a greater ability than the defendants themselves when they have played without software”.

That statement was not convincing for Wastenson, who said: “A pokerbot has an unfair advantage against its opponents since it has much larger basis for its decisions compared to a human.

“It can play close to an unlimited number of poker games at the same time, 24/7. A pokerbot never gets tired or stressed and can take rational decisions at all times which gives it an advantage in the long run.”

Despite the software’s seemingly unlimited energy, Wastenson added that Svenska Spel is now focusing its efforts on beating the bots.

He explained: “How we work and organise our poker surveillance is confidential, however we can say that we are continuously improving our security systems in order to obstruct and detect unauthorised gaming.

“The use of pokerbots is a violation of Svenska Spel’s rules and terms, which players must agree to in order to play on our poker client.”

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