ACR Talks Bots and Legal US Online Poker

ACR Talks Bots and Legal US Online Poker

Americas Cardroom, the flagship online poker site of the Winning Poker Network, is not shy about speaking up about poker bots. In 2019, CEO Phil Nagy became more vocal about bots and the site’s effort to crack down on them.

ACR’s recent publication about bots is not surprising, though it does explain in some detail the methods used to detect and shut down bots.

The ACR publication that is rather interesting is one about legal online poker in the US market.

Ongoing Bot Battle

In April 2019, the Winning Poker Network announced that it was the only poker network to publish a “transparent and verifiable reimbursement policy” with regard to bot detection.

ACR began publishing a list of banned accounts deemed to be against the site’s terms and conditions. The site also noted how many players were affected by each bot and how much money was reimbursed in total.

CEO Nagy also confessed to not handling the topic well in the past, promising to change going forward. “I’m not going to ask you to trust me,” he said. “Instead, WPN is committing to transparent, verifiable gaming policies.”

The bot bans continued, and ACR released another report in May 2019. However, the reports stopped shortly thereafter. And players started reporting bot behavior that went unaddressed by ACR.

That prompted Nagy to address the topic again in November, in which he noted that bot detection and bans continued in September, October, and November, though ACR didn’t publish reports. Nagy noted that WPN added another layer of Captcha protections and took other steps to make it more difficult for bot operators to work.

No reports followed to close out 2019 or head into 2020, but ACR will provide updates upon request.

Current State of Integrity and Security

ACR then published an article – on its own website – this month entitled, “The Current State of Integrity and Security in Online Poker.”

Site spokesperson Michael Harris mentioned that ACR continues to fight against bots. Some of the steps they took included the aforementioned Captcha upgrade, along with a new graphics table pixilation and the development of its “transparent and verifiable banned account policy.”

Further, ACR provided tips for players to be able to spot bots and other forms of cheating with more ease. They explained external assistance tools, like seating scripts, and the unfair advantage they provide to users who target weaker players.

Players – whether new to ACR or with existing accounts – are encouraged to speak with a customer service representative to ask more about the policies regarding cheating and bots on ACR and its sister sites on WPN.

According to the WPN public roadmap Trello page, the next network-wide update will include bot testing improvements. More information is likely to follow in the coming days and weeks.

Analysis of US Online Poker Industry

Harris called this article entitled “How to Play Online Poker in the US Legally, Safely, and Securely” a “best-in-class article.” It, too, is on the ACR website.

After explaining some facts about the UIGEA and Black Friday, the piece notes that WPN is the online poker network that left the US market after Black Friday, refunded all players, and then returned to the US market.

Interestingly, the author of the piece neglected to mention Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia with states that have regulated online poker within their borders. Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware were the only sites mentioned.

While the entire idea of publishing this article and promoting it with a press release is perplexing, especially in light of the recent developments with 5Dimes, ACR seems to want to be upfront.

After all, it is the top online poker site for American players in 2020.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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