Caesars Says Nevada Online Poker Cheating Bill Would Burden Operators
- Caesars is opposing a Bill that would name online poker players suspended or banned for cheating
- Caesars said the proposal would be burdensome for online poker operators
- Caesars owns WSOP.com, the sole online poker site operating in Nevada
A Nevada Bill that would require regulators to publicly name individuals suspended or banned from US online poker sites for cheating would be “burdensome” for operators, according to Caesars Entertainment.
The company owns the World Series of Poker site, WSOP.com, the only online poker room operating in the state.
AB380 Would Lead to Costly Lawsuits
Caesars lobbyist Mike Alfonso attended a recent meeting of the Assembly Judiciary Committee where the Bill, AB380, was discussed. He said requiring operators to provide a list of suspected cheaters to the gaming authorities and then have their names released for the public to see could result in defamation lawsuits which would involve huge costs.
Similarly, players who think they’ve been cheated and robbed of their money would also launch legal action and seek compensation. This would impose a heavy burden on Caesars, which is why it cannot support the Bill.
Under the proposal, players caught cheating at online poker rooms will be exposed in a list, similar to the so-called “Black Book” which contains the personal information of individuals banned from licensed gaming establishments in Nevada. The state’s gaming authorities are the ones responsible for nominating and approving people who would be added to the list. However, under AB380, it would be the operators who would provide the personal details of suspected cheaters.
According to Alonso, Caesars doesn’t have the authority to declare anyone as a cheater, though they provide the necessary reports to the Gaming Control Board upon request by the agency. The company does not want to interfere with the legal process followed by the gaming authority on that matter, Alonso added.
Daniel Barille, vice president of Caesars Digital, which runs WSOP.com, told the Committee that the company uses “advanced algorithms” to monitor each poker hand played on the platform. The site also has measures in place to minimize cheating, such as terminating accounts found to be violating the site’s rules.
Achieving Transparency in Online Poker
AB380 was drafted by professional poker player Sara Cholhagian Ralston, the former executive director of the Nevada Patient Protection Commission. The proposal was submitted in March by Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager.
Ralston emphasized to the Committee that the main aim of the Bill is to achieve transparency for the online poker community in Nevada, especially as online players are allowed to play using aliases and screen names.
Ralston said she already made changes to the original language of the Bill to address concerns, such as those raised by Caesars, but that wasn’t enough to make the operator change its mind.