Players Using an iPad Were Able to See Opponents Cards on OK Poker Site2 months ago
A lawsuit targeting Quebec’s state-run lottery, Loto-Quebec, and its in-house online poker site, OK Poker, over a technical problem that allowed certain players to view opponents’ discarded hole cards for months has received court approval to move forward. Last week, Quebec’s Elisabetta Bertucci received court approval for her class action to continue in a case that poses a possible multi-million-dollar liability for the high-profile Canadian platform.
Last June, Bertucci filed her complaint against Loto-Quebec’s espacejeux platform and the OK Poker site after discovering a technical flaw that left her -- and a majority of other players’ -- folded hole cards visible to other players at the OK Poker tables. Due to faulty programming, players who accessed OK Poker’s games using an iPad were able to see the folded cards of their opponents.
Players using laptops or other smart devices were unable to see the folded cards, which should not have been displayed. When accidentally exposed, as detailed in Bertucci’s lawsuit, the programming error could create a competitive advantage for the iPad-using players, who thus gained insight into the playing ranges of the other players at the tables.
Since the filing of the lawsuit, research has determined that the OK Poker flaw existed for nearly a year, from July 2019 to May 2020. Bertucci first brought the error to OK Poker’s attention, and the site offered her $15 in compensation. Bertucci scoffed at that offer, having lost nearly $18,000 on the site, and she then obtained counsel to contest the situation in an effort to win full restitution for her losses..
The Quebec court’s decision last week opens the door for perhaps thousands of OK Poker customers to join the class action effort. The lawsuit also asks for $300 per participating player in punitive damages.
In its initial defense against the claims, as noted at Le Journal de Quebec, Loto-Quebec denied any responsibility, writing:
"Loto-Quebec maintains, among other things, that all players could have access to the same information in the history of hands, regardless of the device used to play."
The timeliness of that information’s availability, however, will be the case’s key question. More recently, Loto-Quebec has denied further comment on the matter, choosing to let the legal process continue to play out.
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