Swedish Court Overturns Poker Bot Convictions
Five People Who Designed, Used Bot Win Appeal
An appeals court in Sweden last week overturned a fraud conviction for five people who designed a poker-playing bot and used it on the state-owned poker site Svenska Spel.
The equivalent of about $450,000 was returned to more than 25,000 players who played against the bot beginning in 2013.
The District Court had sentenced the five defendants to probation for aggravated fraud. However, both the prosecutor and the defendants appealed the ruling.
According to a press release from the Swedish Court of Appeals, the defendants were found to have engaged in “misleading” actions by using the bot, but “it is not proven that the procedure entailed harm to the plaintiffs or gain to the defendants in the manner required for liability for fraud.”
The ruling centers on the court’s opinion that it wasn’t proven that the bot gave the defendants “a greater ability” to win at poker than they would have had on their own.
“Chances of profit for the injured party has not been less because the defendants used the software at the game,” the appeals court said (translation via Google).
In other words, it sounds like the court wasn’t convinced that the bot used here was superior to the level of play that humans have in the game of poker, even though it did win money.
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