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New UK Penalties for Poker Cheats

The newest set of proposed gaming laws, an amendment to the UK Gambling Bill, has been gratefully received by the poker industry.

Lord Moynihan has gone to the House of Lords with recommendations of big changes to the gambling world. And these changes intend to span all aspects of online gambling, not just poker. It aims to remove all problems associated with match fixing, regarding football and cricket as two sports that traditionally suffer from this issue.

If the law is passed it could see cheaters put in jail for a maximum of ten years, which acts as an effective deterrent should anyone get the urge to cheat. It is intended to be used as a preventative measure, rather than a harsh punishment.

The core skill of poker is to create your own luck. That is why cheating is so immoral, it ruins the game and is horrendously unfair to those that are playing decently. You can make a lot of money playing poker online if you win, and just so long as everyone else is gambling fairly.

Playing for Money Online

Statistics say that online poker is as popular as ever, with 3.2% of all adults in the UK playing regularly for real money. At all times, but especially when the stakes are high, it is only fair to the authentic players that they should have peace of mind. They deserve reassurance that everyone at the table is also playing by the rules and that no cheating is going on. The amendment provides this.

Whilst most of these players are honest, respect the rules and know how to play properly, there are a minority of players that use the online system to play dishonestly. Now, far be it from us to tell you exactly how they do this, but it is an ongoing problem.

The House of Lords want to strongly advise against anyone thinking of playing dishonestly, so has implemented a potential prison sentence that is no joke. Ten years is a long time to be in jail for something that you did online.

After the recent debate about the introduction of a 15% UK tax for non-UK based gambling firms that operate in this country, there is new talk of more regulation in the industry and heavy prison sentences for cheats has been one change that could have a major impact. A lack of empathy for cheaters has risen, and rightfully so – they ruin the great game for the rest of us.

The Fight against Corruption

The legal amendment mirrors one passed in Victoria, Australia which has successfully targeted the more dishonest members of the gambling community, and now the UK is looking to do the same. With a maximum prison sentence of ten years, the penalty seems harsh but ministers say it will help a lot in the fight against the growing problem of suspect betting in the gambling industry.

The former sports minister, Lord Moynihan, announced the changes after discussing the problem with Britain’s Sports Betting Group. And the facts are unavoidable – something needs to be done to tackle what is becoming a difficult issue for all sports involved, but a problem that is crippling some poker players.

The issue of cheating goes back thousands of years, the Oxford English Dictionary’s first citation for the word dates back to 1377. However historic as the event may be, it is an unacceptable area of the game that needs to be examined.

One thing is certain – there are big changes in store for the world of online poker. Watch this space.