Partypoker has made its now monthly update about its anti-bot efforts, announcing on Wednesday that it closed another 121 bot accounts during the month of July.
That’s the biggest haul since the initial wave of bans that came in March, when 277 fraudulent accounts were shut down.
Over $1M Seized from Closed Accounts
According to information released on the Partypoker blog, 89 of the accounts closed in July came from the .com version of its website, while the other 32 were playing on the .eu site. However, those .eu accounts had more ill-gotten winnings in their accounts: while $76,267 was seized from the balances of the .com bots, the European robots were forced to give up €88,351 ($98,500).
The announcement is part of a pledge from Partypoker to keep players updated on its efforts to stamp out bots from its virtual poker rooms. Since March, the online poker room’s fraud team has closed down over 600 accounts and seized over $1 million in total.
The war against bots is probably the least controversial aspect of Partypoker’s emphasis on game integrity and protecting recreational players.
The site has gotten a more mixed reaction for some of its other moves, such as eliminating heads-up displays (HUDs) and preventing players from downloading hand histories, with many arguing that rather than maintaining their integrity, those changes could make games less safe for all players by making it harder to detect cheaters. Players were also recently required to change their handles, effectively rendering previous hand histories collected on opponents useless.
Partypoker Exits Some Grey Markets
Partypoker has also removed some other players from its sites this week, though not because those users were cheating. Reports emerged on Twitter late last week that users in some countries were being sent emails alerting them that Partypoker was closing on Aug. 12, and that they should withdraw any more still in their accounts, with pending bonuses and unused tickets being converted into cash.
When pressed on what those emails meant, Partypoker responded with a short explanation.
Following a recent review, we have decided to stop offering real money games to players in a small number of countries,” Partypoker wrote on its Twitter feed last Friday. “Players impacted by this have been advised. Player funds remain safe and secure and available to withdraw.”
When the news was shared on TwoPlusTwo.com, users who received such notices chimed in, helping to paint a picture of the countries that had been affected. Players in Vietnam, Serbia, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia reported getting the letter, though users also said they were still able to access Partypoker as of Aug. 12.
While Partypoker did not announce a full list of countries impacted, the fact that the known nations are considered grey market jurisdictions suggest that the decision may be a move to clean up the company’s regulatory profile.