Online poker security is a big concern with everyone these days, and rightly so. Whether it's giving your card details to someone to pay for something, protecting your PC or protecting yourself from being cheated out of your hard earned cash - security matters. It matters to the poker rooms also - it's the backbone of their multi-million dollar reputations and they invest their money to protect it.
The fraudsters are certainly one security risk as far as online poker is concerned but there are many others - some unique to the online game. One of these is collusion. This is where many players team up and share information on their hands in the same game, giving them an edge over their opponents who are playing independently. We witnessed a badly executed collusion on the iPoker network a few years ago. The players in question were playing 3 tabled winner take all tournaments and they outplayed their opponents by raising and re-raising continually to force the 3rd player out of the pot. Sadly for them it was very easy to spot and ended up with a life time ban on the network as well as their funds being confiscated.
Good question. Sadly there are no guarantees in life. The gambling industry is however heavily regulated so most reputable sites are as safe as anywhere else online. Our team have been playing online for a long time and making money across a large number of them, so if it's rigged, it's working for us. As with any industry, where there are low points. There will always be someone doing something they shouldn't - but this isn't specific to poker. Here are some of the lower points in pokers' history:
Full Tilt Poker was described by the Department of Justice as being a 'Global Ponzi Scheme' in which at the time CEO Ray Bitar was accused along with a number of the pro players of defraud poker players out of more than $440 million over a four year period. As the allegations broke Manhattan’s U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that Full Tilt Poker was not a legitimate poker company but one big ponzi scheme. Ray Bitar pleaded guilty in 2013 to a violation of the UIGEA and admitted conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. He only avoided jail time as he was in need of a heart transplant, according to The Wall Street Journal. This was one of the worst scandals of all time and led to the closure of Full Tilt Poker. The site has since re-opened following the repayment of funds and the purchase of the site by PokerStars.
In 2008 Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG (Tokwiro) issued their finding into an investigation of irregularities occurring from March 2006 through December 2007. A number of accounts were confirmed as being involved in fraudulent activity. This started with an online account called "NioNio" which was identified as having results that could not have been statistically possible without foul play. 6 other accounts were identified in the scheme - a scheme which involved the injection of malicious code that transferred hole card information to these players (known as 'God Mode'). They were also able to change their screen names over the 21 months that the alleged fraud occurred. It is estimated that some $50 Million was cheated out of customers.
A year earlier than the UltimateBet scandal, there was a similar fraud in which the former operational chief of AP, A.J. Green was able to see players hole cards and went on to steal millions from customers. It took some time, but eventually, the poker site admitted that it's poker software had been hacked. The player alias was unsurprisingly called 'Potripper'. Absolute Poker was fined $500,000 by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and had to pick up the expense of the lengthy investigation, as well as refund a large number of tournament buy ins that were affected by the hack. No action could undo the breach of integrity - something the site has been continually rebuilding, on the back of improved software security to prevent a future repeat occurring.
Take from it what you will. The message here is that there are always people looking to make money and many don't care how they do it. We've seen scandals in insurance, banking (more recently), politics - it happens everywhere. Since Black Friday, there have been improvements across the industry and the regulatory bodies have been working closely with the sites to ensure they have improved security. It wasn't long ago (1999) that holes were being found in the random card generator algorithm! Fortunately, with far more regulation and scrutiny - things are considerably safer now than they ever were before.
The bigger sites have bigger budgets to bolster security. For this reason, we are very selective with our choice of rooms and only promote the sites with the very best security and protection for their customer base. If security matters to you, here are your top 3 most secure sites out there.
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Unlike many other poker portals, we pride ourselves on quality. Whilst many poker information sites will be promoting the poker sites that pay themselves the best poker commission, this is where we set ourselves apart from the rest. What you'll find here are only the best poker sites that meet our seal of approval - that means those sites that don't cut the mustard, you won't see anywhere on the site. With only the top poker websites that offer the highest levels of security and protection we are sure your visit will be a safe and profitable one.