Legislation has been drafted in Nevada that would mandate the Nevada Gaming Control Board publish a list of individuals who have been banned or suspended from online poker sites for cheating.
Speaker of the Assembly Steve Yeager (D-Las Vegas) introduced Assembly Bill 380, which proposes requiring the Nevada Gaming Control Board to establish regulations mandating the disclosure of the full name, date of birth, and account handle of any player “suspended or banned from an interactive gaming system for cheating.”
The right to appeal will be given to the players.
“There has to be some kind of openness and responsibility. Yeager, a poker aficionado, told the Nevada Independent, “When the WSOP or anyone thinks that something is terrible enough that they are going to ban a player, I believe the poker community deserves to know that.”
The legislation is now being reviewed by the Judiciary Committee.
Advocacy for a worldwide prohibition
Only WSOP.com, run by Caesar Entertainment, is legal in the state of Nevada for online poker. Yet, since Nevada is a member of the MSIGA, Nevada residents may compete with residents of other MSIGA states like Michigan and New Jersey.
The current version of the law seems to also compel MSIGA member state gaming boards to give a list of players who have been blacklisted for cheating by WSOP.com. Yeager suggested that AB 380 would be revised before it was considered by legislators.
It’s a continual struggle for online poker rooms to identify and prohibit players who are trying to game the system. When award-winning players like Ali Imsirovic and Jake Schindler are found to be behind banned accounts for cheating, no information about the individuals or the reasons for the bans is ever made public.
It seems that both of these high-stakes players have been banned from GGPoker due to cheating, however this is not yet verified. After GGPoker’s announcement that they were banning 40 accounts in 2020, they haven’t been seen on the site, and their offline actions have also been penalized: in September, they were barred from participating in the PokerGo Tour due to the allegations against them.
One of the most famous poker players in the world says Imsirovic hasn’t learnt his lesson. Earlier this month, Daniel Negreanu publicly called him out on Twitter and urged everyone to permanently ban him from every site and live venue.
Several professionals, including Negreanu, advocate for a worldwide ban on players detected cheating online. This would need cooperation amongst the sites, which may be impossible. At least one firm has indicated it is open to talk about the specifics of building a worldwide online poker blacklist, but has warned that doing so won’t be simple.
Partygaming’s Head of Game Integrity Juha Pasanen wrote a blog post detailing the challenges that online poker sites would face if the industry adopts a blacklist. This involves securing authorization from each applicable jurisdiction where the sites are used: Partygaming caters to customers in 14 different countries.
“Trying to get a universal set of regulations in place will be a legislative mountain in reality,” he wrote.