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partypoker partner Rob Yong (cover image) recently announced the launch of the FairPlay initiative. The initiative is designed to bring together prominent operators in the online poker and casino industry to combat collusion, cheating, and bots.
The FairPlay initiative site was soft-launched earlier this month and featured an introductory video from Yong with some hints as to the direction that the organization might take. Previously known as the Online Poker Against Cheating (OPAC), the initiative is yet to launch officially. At present, the site only lists John Duthie as a board member.
The owner of Dusk Till Dawn casino in the United Kingdom and a key partner of GVC Holdings, Yong in the introductory video revealed his vision for the initiative stating, “I founded FairPlay to encourage online poker sites, live poker tours, and casino card rooms to collaborate by sharing information on customers that they have caught cheating. For example, using bots, collusion, multi-accounting, or ghosting.”
Rule & Regulations of FairPlay
Last month partypoker made several changes to its online poker software under the banner of the FairPlay initiative. These changes included the prohibition of the use of Heads-Up Displays (HUDs), banning the majority of third-party software, the removal of downloadable hand histories, and forcing its entire member base to change their alias to render any databases players may have obsolete.
As per the FairPlay initiative, members would have access to a blacklist of banned players that would be updated within 24 hours of a player receiving a ban from a live casino or an online gaming site.
Dusk Till Dawn (DTD) and partypoker are the only two members to have signed up with FairPlay since its soft launch.
Conflict With GDPR
Implemented on May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protects data and privacy for all individual citizens of the European Union and is a massive roadblock in the path of the FairPlay initiative.
According to the GDPR, “any processor of personal data has to disclose any data collection and clearly show the purpose for the data, how long it will be retained for, and whether it is shared among third parties.”
Additionally, EU citizens also have the right to receive any data a processor has regarding them and has the right to have this data erased in certain conditions. This part of the regulation is known as a “right to be forgotten” and protects the privacy of citizens.
This causes a hindrance for the FairPlay initiative since any citizen of the EU who realizes that they are on a blacklist would immediately want the data to be erased. Therefore, Yong believes that anyone caught breaking the Terms of Service of a site or venue may not be protected under GDPR.
The repercussions for breaching GDPR are severe and with companies being charged fines up to €10 Million or up to two percent of the annual worldwide turnover of the company, whichever is greater.
Whether this initiative will be able to get an official launch and stand the test of time to help eradicate cheating from the poker industry or perish trying to accomplish its goal will only be revealed in due course of time.