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Online Poker Rife With Cheats
by Will Sturgeon

The boom in Internet gambling may be about to hit its greatest hurdle with one of the world's most famous casino cheats claiming the online world is far more at risk from cheating than the casinos in which he made millions.

Richard Marcus is among an elite of casino cheats and during a 25-year reign he and a small team took casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, London and Monte Carlo for a reported $5m.

And yet Marcus, who now writes books based on his experiences, claims the boom in internet gambling which has come along since he went into early retirement offers even more rich pickings for the criminally-minded who no longer even have to show their faces to claim their ill-gotten gains.

Marcus says he knows of systems operating online currently which are evading detection and making serious money, including systems which in some online casinos will reveal the other cards on the table.

"There is so much cheating going on," said Marcus.

"Within a short amount of time we are going to see about one in a hundred people playing honestly. The rest will be using bots or it will be computers playing against computers."

However, that's a suggestion one online poker provider was quick to dismiss though others in the same industry remained tight-lipped in the face of enquiries.

A spokesman for Party Poker told silicon.com: "I can't speak for other sites but the people sitting there on our virtual poker tables are very real."

He admitted there will always be those who try to cheat the system but said he is "pretty confident" his company is able to detect them with a dedicated team and technology working round the clock monitoring any suspicious activity.

"When it comes to bots we are able to detect them and when we do we will close down the accounts and seize the funds," he said.

However, while Marcus agreed "the people with unsophisticated bots can be caught" he added "the really sophisticated stuff has a mind of its own".

The Party Poker spokesman told silicon.com: "Of course we are aware that there are going to be increasing levels of sophistication with these things but we're also developing greater levels of sophistication to combat them."

Marcus, whose next book, entitled Dirty Poker, is published in the UK next year, told silicon.com he expects his revelations will draw angry fire from the online casinos.

silicon.com's own enquiries into Marcus' claims were met with a wall of silence from a number of major players in the online poker industry.

Of those contacted, only Party Gaming was willing to co-operate with this article.
 

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