Latest Gambling News: 888poker Continues To Shutdown AI Bot Users, and more

Kat Pilkington


January 29, 2024

Catch up on six of the stories our gambling compliance analysts have covered lately, and stay up-to-date on the latest news.

888poker Continues To Shutdown AI Bot Users

A total of $362,893 (€333,130) was refunded to 4,068 888poker customers who lost to AI bots in 2023.

The poker operator, which is part of 888 Holdings, also closed 161 accounts that were using bots last year, according to a press release on January 25.

Matan Krakow, head of poker offering at 888poker, said: “Our continued progress in tackling bots has been driven not only by our increased investment in our detection capabilities but also through the continued support and cooperation of our players, who have an important role to play in helping provide us with vital information about players they think are using AI and real-time assistance (RTA)."

The total amount refunded to players since 2021 is now more than $1.2m.

Svenska Spel To Shut Casinos

Sweden’s state-owned gambling company Svenska Spel will soon operate just a single land-based casino in the country after announcing plans to close two of its three sites.

Casino Cosmopol locations in Malmö and Gothenburg will be shuttered in the near future after falling revenues, the company said. That just leaves its Stockholm site operational.

Svenska Spel has a monopoly on land-based casinos in Sweden.

The company blamed gamblers transitioning to online casino games and said it had tried and failed to improve profits by restructuring the company.

Cyberattack Takes Down Nevada Gaming Control Board Website

The Nevada Gaming Control Board’s (NGCB) website has been taken offline by a cyberattack and has been offline for several days, the agency said in a statement. 

“The [NGCB] became aware earlier this week that its public-facing website had been compromised,” the control board said in a statement Thursday (January 25). “NGCB technology personnel initiated immediate steps to protect the website by taking it offline.”

The control board said it is working with experts to thoroughly assess the situation.

“While working to restore the full website, the NGCB is preparing to publish a temporary website for those seeking access to NGCB information and relevant weblinks.”

The website used by the NGCB and Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) includes meeting agendas, regulatory complaints and settlement agreements, listing of gaming regulations, proposed regulations, press releases, as well as information about NGCB and NGC members. 

The five-member commission held its monthly meeting on Thursday and none of them mentioned the cyberattack or websites being offline.

MGE Niagara Entertainment Fined For Risky Activity

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has fined MGE Niagara Entertainment, which operates Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, C$70,000 for failing to meet requirements to minimize the risk of unlawful activity, including money laundering. 

In April 2023, a patron attended the Salon Privé at the Fallsview Casino Resort and presented $80,000 in strapped $100 bills from a reusable grocery bag, according to the AGCO report.

Surveillance showed that once the money was counted and confirmed, the patron left the table with casino chips without playing at that time. Despite having previously identified the player as "high risk", the casino failed to notify the AGCO and on-site police of this transaction as required.

The casino operator also failed to take any meaningful steps to ascertain and corroborate the patron’s source of funds, as is required by anti-money laundering rules set out in the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming.

“Casino operators are important front-line partners in this effort and the AGCO holds all operators to rigorous standards when it comes to the prevention of unlawful activity,” Karin Schnarr, CEO and registrar with the AGCO, said in a statement.

Pennsylvania Levies Fines, Approves Mohegan License

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved two consent agreements Wednesday (January 24) resulting in $27,500 in fines, while in a separate decision unanimously voted to renew the license of Mohegan casino. 

Since its opening in November 2006 through December 2023, Mohegan Pennsylvania has generated more than $4.035bn in gross revenue from the play of retail slot machines and table games, sports wagering and iGaming, as well as $2.06bn in state taxes, assessments, and fees. 

The PGCB also signed off on a $22,500 fine against Stakelogic USA, an interactive gaming manufacturer, for not properly notifying the board of a change in control of its ownership structure. TA Operating, doing business as TravelCenters of America location 67, was fined $5,000 for not having functioning surveillance monitors in its gaming area.

The TravelCenters location, which offers video gaming terminals (VGTs), also lacked direct line-of-sight monitoring of its gaming area by store employees.

Dutch Regulator Says It Cannot Estimate 2024 Fines

The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) told lawmakers that it is unable to estimate how many gambling companies will be fined this year, or how much it expects to collect.

The regulator, however, said that it imposed €34.2m in fines in 2022, and €18.1m in 2023, including for both online and land-based companies, and legal and illegal operators.

“No trend has been observed in recent years,” the regulator wrote.

The “vast majority” of fines were imposed on online operators, the authority wrote.

The information surfaced in questions to the Ministry of Justice by members of parliament and was first reported on the Casino Nieuws affiliate site.

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