February 22, 2013

Svenska Spel closes 14 accounts involved in cheating allegations

Svenska Spel is taking the serious measure of locking 14 poker accounts after details of an alleged bot-based cheating conspiracy happened involving the said accounts. According to Swedish national operator, the suspended accounts carried over $108,000 and have won over $1.8 million in the past year.

The investigation began after a player report a few months ago and suspicious practices were discovered involving what the poker site suspected as poker bots. Since then, the state-owned Svenska Spel reported the matter to the Swedish police and has also found its way to the Swedish Gaming Board.

Svenska Spel representatives on its player forum posted that the poker bots, which are illegal computer systems that mechanizes online poker play, made their living playing in Hold’Em games ranging from NL50 to NL500 and taken most of their winnings in the past six months.

As one of the few authorized gambling providers in Sweden and the only one licensed to offer online poker, Svenska Spel is the only place where Swedish players can play online poker in the country. Ultimately, this falls on the company itself who admitted that it had known of the matter beforehand and failed to report it to the proper authorities. They’re stopping short of revealing the screen names of those responsible while investigations are still underway, but this does paint a pretty unflattering picture of the state-owned operator who will now have to carry the burden of having its GTECH G2 software-run online poker room tainted by cheats.

To be fair, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened to an online poker room. Even PokerStars had to deal with its own cheating scandal a few years ago involving collusion among Chinese players who pilfered more than $2 million from over 25,000 players. So Svenska Spel can take comfort knowing they’re not the first. But it still paints a negative picture if you’re in that list.

More details are expected to be revealed as the investigation progresses. It’ll be interesting to see where this case goes from here.

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