Swedish Court Spares ‘Bot’ Users

Swedish Court Spares ‘Bot’ Users

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

An appeals court in Sweden has overturned the fraud convictions of five people that allegedly designed a poker-playing ‘bot’ before using it to win some SEK2.5 million ($290,151) on SvenskaSpel.se.

A computer programme that can engage in games of online poker against human opponents on its own and wins cash by basing its decisions on statistical observations, ‘bots’ have been around since the turn on the millennium but are now widely outlawed by most reputable domains.

The ‘bot’ in question was reportedly used for over six months in 2013 mostly on games of $0.25/$0.50 and $3/$6 no-limit hold‘em at SvenskaSpel.se with police charging the quintuplet with aggravated fraud a year later.

As the use of ‘bots’ is prohibited by SvenskaSpel.se’s terms of service, the five were convicted but the Svea Court Of Appeal quashed the verdict last week because Sweden defines poker as a game of luck rather than skill. The Stockholm court ruled that the ‘bot’ in question could just have easily lost money with the decision now raising serious questions as to what punishments can be imposed on those found to be operating the computer programmes.

Given that SvenskaSpel.se is owned and operated by the Swedish government, which means that it is the Scandinavian nation’s de facto ‘official’ online gambling website, the verdict now seems to mean that the worst penalty ‘bot’ users can expect to receive is to have their ill-gotten gains confiscated.

Tags: SvenskaSpel.se, Sweden Stockholm, Svea Court Of Appeal