EBU Online Games- Ethics

Some members are concerned at the possibility of cheating when playing online. This possibility does exist in all online games (as in face-to-face games), but there are a number of things that can be done to minimise the risk.

The ACBL have successfully been running online games with masterpoints for many years, and their experience is that the scope for underhand behaviour is severely limited by having strict time limits per round, having a live TD on-site, and having a record logged of all bids, plays and exactly who took how long for each action.

We also note that these online results are linked to the players’ real offline presences too – they aren’t just anonymous statistics, but are people playing in the same games as others who they may know in real life. So while it might be possible for someone to do something underhand on a one-off basis (as they could in a club, with an accomplice), it’s unlikely that they could repeat it many times without their actions seeming strange enough that we would challenge them about it and indeed this is what we do.

Let us be clear: cheating is cheating whether online or in a face-to-face game, and it will be subject to the same disciplinary processes, the same sanctions and the same possibility of being named publicly if convicted.

BBO also has their own ethics department (abuse@bridgebase.com) which investigates and deals with all such matters that are raised with it, and apply sanctions of their own.