Through its website, the commission announced that “regulations governing online poker where players play against each other—as opposed to playing the operator—are being reviewed.”
The review will involve several stages. For the first stage, the gambling authority will seek information from its licensees about collusion and cheating, including the use of automated poker robots and third party software.
“We want this information in order to assess whether the current controls in Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice and the Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards are sufficient to ensure online poker is crime free, fair and open, and children and vulnerable people are protected,” the commission said in a note.
The results of the review will be used to “help shape a future formal consultation on remote technical standards,” according to a spokesman for the gambling commission.
“We are also considering the impact of game integrity issues and using the opportunity to canvass views more generally,” the spokesman added.
UKGC’s review came several weeks after PokerStars and Partypoker announced they are tightening their policies on the use of third-party software.
In a press release, Partypoker said “sophisticated third party online poker tracking software such as HUDs, seating scripts and the sharing of hand history databases” are affecting not only the new players, but also the recreational community.
Partypoker’s changes include disallowing players from downloading and saving hand histories, having the players join the room-wide waiting list, and players joining a cash game will see the names of their opponents only once after the first hand is dealt.
PokerStars, on the other hand, came up with more stringent measures, including forbidding HUDs to display non-numerical data, categorize players or dynamically display statistics specific to a certain situation, among other things.
Partypoker ambassador Tony Dunst said the changes “will help level the playing field for casual players, and preserve the quality of games for professionals.”