BetOnline Addresses Alleged Live Dealer BlackJack Cheating Incident



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As we told you on Tuesday, there has been a lot of talk in the past week about an incident on BetOnline.com in which a live blackjack dealer appeared to cheat a player. The site has responded by saying it is investigating the incident; it has also jettisoned the provider that had been running the live games.

To review, BetOnline offers “live dealer” blackjack games in which a real dealer in a studio deals real cards, but rather than players sitting in seats at the table, they are playing remotely via the computer. It is meant to both ease trust concerns of those skeptical of random number generators and give players a more entertaining game with a live feel.

On January 25th, Michael Morgenstern, who says he is a professional blackjack player, streamed a BetOnline blackjack session. He didn’t know it until someone pointed it out in his YouTube video’s comment section, but it appeared that in one hand, the dealer did what is called “dealing seconds,” or dealing the second card from the shoe instead of the top card.

It can be seen in the video, as well as a second video Morgenstern posted with that hand singled out. The dealer slid the top card up and took the second card, dealing it to Morgenstern. As it turned out, that card, combined with the next one that was given to the dealer (in this game’s format, the dealer takes his second card after all the players’ hands have been completed), caused Morgenstern to lose the hand.

It is not known why the dealer would have done this. It could have been a mistake, but it certainly looked like cheating. Again, why he did it is the question. Was he acting on his own (and why would he?), did someone from the blackjack operator tell him to do it, or did BetOnline have something to do with it?

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Obviously, one would not expect BetOnline to admit that it was cheating anyone (and we’re not saying they were). This week, company put out the following press release, implying it was as surprised as everyone else:

BetOnline.ag has been notified of an instance of potentially questionable behavior by a black jack dealer from its previous Live Dealer Casino Provider on the date of January 25th, 2017. The Company removed the previous Provider’s Casino and replaced it with the much improved Visionary iGaming Live Dealer product on February 18th 2017.

BetOnline.ag is currently looking into the issue with help and careful cooperation from the previous Live Dealer provider. BetOnline.ag asks that anyone who feels they may have been affected by this dealer’s actions to contact them by email at Casino[at]BetOnline.ag.

As always, BetOnline.ag takes client feedback seriously. And nothing is more important to BetOnline.ag than the integrity of its gambling offerings and the enjoyment of its players.

It is somewhat interesting that BetOnline canned the casino provider that it was using during Morgenstern’s session and replaced it with a new one on February 18th. That could seem suspicious; if one wanted to buy into a conspiracy theory, it could seem like BetOnline knew what was going on and made the change, hoping it would blow over.

If we give BetOnline the benefit of the doubt though and assume the company isn’t just straight-up lying (yeah, yeah, I know), it looks like that conspiracy theory doesn’t quite work. In a press release on February 18th announcing the casino provider switch, BetOnline said that it began searching for a new provider in early January:

After client-side complaints regarding the number of available tables, games offered, lackadaisical dealers, and poor hand reporting became common-place (regarding GGL), BetOnline took on the task of finding a superior Live Casino Vendor. After a month-long search in early January 2017, it was decided that ViG would offer a superior product for the BetOnline.ag Players. ViG was notified mid-January, and as of 18 February 2017, the new vendor is in production on BetOnline.ag. Client feedback has been very positive since the switchover!

Then again, maybe the cheating was going on for a long time and BetOnline finally decided to change it up. Who knows? It certainly would be interesting to find out if what happened to Morgenstern was an isolated incident or if other customers had been cheated and just never knew.

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