Multi-accounting has historically been a huge problem for online gambling services and in particular poker websites. A quick Google search turns up both articles discouraging the practice, as well as forum posts asking for tips on how to successfully multi-account without getting caught. While poker websites have improved at catching multi-accounting users in recent years, the practice still regularly occurs at the highest levels of play.
Multi-accounting has also become more of an issue for other gaming and gambling platforms, especially when players can benefit themselves through promo abuse, affiliate fraud, sharing resources, and selling accounts.
Multi-accounting simply refers to one person signing up for multiple accounts with a service. Most people have done this for one reason or another at some point in their online lives, and usually have a good and fair reason. For example, you may want to have two Gmail accounts - one for personal use, and another for signing up for online services so you don’t clutter up your main inbox.
Depending on the service being signed up for, the level of sophistication required to successfully multi-account may vary. Some services may allow a user on the same computer and IP address to create multiple accounts as long as they use a new email address. However, some services may deduplicate new accounts based on inputted information, IP address, cookies, or browser signals, blocking new account creation if too many signals match an existing account. In these cases, the user may attempt to circumvent these checks by using a VPN, virtual machines, incognito mode or other spoofing techniques.
While online gaming and gambling sites (and some of their players) may lose money from multi-accounting, the greatest risk is losing the trust of their player community. If players feel that the game is rigged against them and cheaters are not punished for their behavior, they will find other games to play.
Online poker tournaments have garnered the most notoriety for multi-accounting, as there is a large financial incentive for players to successfully run multiple accounts. Multi-accounting poker players can get multiple attempts at a large cash prize in a tournament, or can collude with themselves by having more information on cards in play if they are seated at the same table (also referred to as ‘gnoming’).
Poker-king’s article on multi-accounting claims that poker rooms are much more capable of catching multi-accounting users today than they were in the past, however there continue to be high-profile instances of this type of cheating in the past few years.The 2019 WSOP bracelet winner Ivan Dreya recently admitted to multi-accounting with his father’s account after a lengthy internal investigation, causing him to lose his €83,300 prize.
All online gambling services are at risk of multi-accounting and other forms of gaming fraud due to the financial incentive available to players if they can cheat the system. Some reasons for multi-accounting on gambling sites include:
Multi-accounting can be commonly found in online games as well. There are a few reasons why online gamers may feel incentivized to create multiple accounts:
The best way to prevent multi-accounting is increase the difficulty for players to create multiple accounts. There are two main ways to do this:
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