Online Poker Players Expose Cheaters

    December 1, 2008

An investigation by Washington Post reporter Gilbert M.Gaul and 60 Minutes looked at two of the largest cases of online gambling fraud in the history of Internet poker.

The investigation found that Internet gambling sites operate in a gray area with little regulation and even less enforcement.

In part one, "Hunting the Internet Poker Cheats," Gaul chronicles the work of online poker players who took it upon themselves to investigate cheating on the gambling site Absolute Poker after one player suspiciously lost $15,000 in a short series of games.

After months of pressure, the site was forced to admit that the cheater was a consultant with managerial responsibilities. The cheaters identity was never revealed and was not charged with a crime, but the site refunded $1.6 million to players.


Rumors than surfaced of a new scheme on the sister site that more that $20 million had been stolen from players over four years. The alleged suspects included a former world champion poker player and employees.

Today, in "Should Internet Gambling be Legal?" Gaul explains how scams like these are raising new questions about the honesty and security of a "freewheeling" industry that operates outside of U.S. law. Revenue from online poker tournaments, casino games and sports books around the world are estimated at $18 billion a year, more than tripling over the past five years. Billions of those bets come from the U.S.