Online Casino Gambling Collusion

Gambling establishments of all kinds have to constantly be on the lookout for new ways that players find to cheat. Some forms of cheating are as old as gambling itself, while others take advantage of newer technology. Online gambling helps eliminate some forms of cheating while introducing entirely new ones. Players that collude with each other is an age-old means of gaining a competitive advantage in a number of different games. Since players are not physically present in a casino, collusion is even easier in online gambling. Here is an overview of online gambling collusion; what it is and how players use it to defraud online gambling sites.

What is Online Casino Gambling Collusion?

Collusion occurs when two or more players work together to affect the outcome of various online games. In online gambling, self-collusion is also a possibility. Self-collusion is where one person signs up for multiple accounts and plays them simultaneously, thereby colluding with themselves. Here are some different ways in which collusion can affect the outcome of certain games and thereby constitutes fraudulent activity.

Online Casino Gambling Collusion Fraud

There are a number of different ways that players can gain an advantage by colluding. In addition, there are also a number of other benefits to be gained by colluding that do not necessarily always defraud the gaming entity but are still illegal. Here are five ways collusion is used to commit fraud.

  • Gnoming: Gnoming is simply the term used for using multiple accounts to help one player win. In any type of multi-player card game such as blackjack or poker, players can gain a competitive advantage just by knowing what cards are in play and which are not. For instance, if a single player is playing three hands of blackjack at the same table and is holding two, three or four of the available four cards of any type, then it significantly narrows the potential cards the dealer might be holding or that might still be in the deck. Gnoming can be one user playing multiple accounts or multiple players helping one player win.

    Gnoming can also offer a significant advantage in tournament play when there is a cash prize of some kind in addition to what the player wins from the other players. In poker, gnoming can be used to increase the pot size or even squeeze other players out of a hand. If there are only one or two legitimate players in a hand, the players who are gnoming can keep increasing the pot size even if they have a terrible hand. As long as one of their "team" has a winning hand, they all win. Since poker is as much a game of psychology as skill, even online, gnoming can also be used to give a single player or the group a psychological advantage over any legitimate players. Since they are working together, they can coordinate their strategies to keep other players constantly off-balance.

    Sometimes, a group is actually working together and will share in the profits when they are done, but in some cases, a single player may stake multiple players and then simply pay them a small fee at the end for their participation.
  • Chip Dumping: Chip dumping is a practice that takes place in poker where one player purposefully loses to another or "dumps" their chips on them. Chip dumping happens for a number of reasons. In addition to gaining a competitive advantage in tournament play, chip dumping can also be used as a means of laundering money, since winnings from gambling are considered legitimate income. Criminal enterprises can deposit their money in casino accounts, then use several accounts to "lose" to a single account. That person can then claim their winnings as legitimate income. Chip dumping is also a way to pay for criminal activities so that it looks like legitimate income.
  • Bonus Fraud: Most online gambling sites will offer signup bonuses for new players or maintain customer loyalty. They may also offer bonuses to players they haven't seen in a while. Most of these bonuses have rollover requirements, which means the user has to gamble the full amount a certain number of times in order to withdraw the full bonus. For instance, if the player receives a 10% signup bonus and they make an initial deposit of $2,000, then they would receive a $200 bonus. If the bonus has a 3X rollover requirement, then, in essence, they need to make at least $600 in bets in order to withdraw their initial stake plus the bonus. Collusion is an easy way to ensure players can fulfill the rollover requirements while still being able to collect the full bonus. All they have to do is lose to each other a certain number of times at poker and they both walk away with their bonus.

Collusion is just as prevalent in real-world casinos as it is in online casinos, but self-collusion is not as much of an option. One type of collusion that is eliminated in online casinos, however, is dealer collusion. In real-world casinos, dealers can sometimes be blackmailed or bought off, but in online casinos, dealers are simply programs that are harder to tamper with.

Online Casino Collusion Fraud Detection & Prevention

Because collusion is such a severe and significant problem, most online gaming sites have advanced software that can help detect any sign of collusion. When the software detects potential signs of collusion, it can be forwarded to a fraud expert that can examine the gameplay. Since online games are digital fraud experts can look at what hands players were holding when they folded, raised, called or made other key plays. In addition, casinos can look at the histories of certain players to see when or if they have played against each other and what the outcomes were. In many cases, when fraud experts suspect fraud, they may suspend a player's account and even redirect any winnings to players that should have won certain hands or even tournaments.

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