Is "Account sharing" legal...?

As an online poker community, we have already dealt with the zeejustin ordeal, so that is not something I wish to mention. However, I do wish to pose the question as to whether or not sharing an online poker account is legal and/or ethical. By "sharing an online account," I mean either two people use the same account at different times (may or may not be different locations) OR a player starts a game or a tournament and another player finishes on their behalf (team play).

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According to the terms and conditions at poker.com - "You agree to keep your Account information secret and confidential and to not allow anyone else to use it." --- Apparently, they are “crystal clear” on their position, as seen in the text I have taken the liberty of bolding out. However, while they are clear on what is and is not "legal", they do not necessarily discuss what the punishment specifically would be for said rules violation. However, through the terms and conditions, they reserve the right to cease funds if cheating is discovered.

Bugsy's Club, on the other hand, is clear and specific on both the definition and the enforcement of this account sharing issue. They write:

One Player per Account

"Regarding all League promotions at Bugsy’s Club pleased be informed that all play in leagues is limited to one player per username. If it is found and proved that more than one player is playing under one username, that username will forfeit any and all prize money it wins in any league promotion at Bugsy’s Club and could be banned from Bugsy’s Club. Please respect this and play by the rules."

This stands to be important with Bugsy's Club because:

1. They offer monthly prizes based on league play (i.e. - accumulate x number of league points to gain entry to a special tournament, score high on the Leaderboard for leagues to win prizes within the league).

2. Nearly EVERYTHING on Bugsy's Club falls into some sort of league. This includes the cash tables, as there's competitions based on raked hands.

Why would this matter?

One might be inclined to ask what the big deal is. Why would this matter in the least bit? I propose it matters a great deal. In the instance of Bugsy's Club and the league games, the more you play the more leaderboard points you score. Players are "supposed to" play utilizing their own account. Theoretically, who is at an advantage, the honest player playing his or her own account and playing only when they are not sleeping, working, or doing something else "life-related?" Or is it the "team" of players, who have worked out a "shift schedule" to allow them 24-hour coverage of the poker room?

How about sharing of a player account within tournaments, such as a series of tourneys or satellites of some sort? Should a player who is great at Hold’em be "right," "legal" or "ethical" by sharing playing duties with a player who is skilled in Omaha, for example, when in fact Omaha and Hold'em will be played out in the hypothetical series? Or how about the player who can play his ass off, but has problems finishing? Should one be able to tag the other in?

Surely, when instances such as this occur, people usually have some sort of justification they fabricate as to why "it is ok" in this instance. It may be "well, the person is my (wife, girlfriend, brother, dog, grandmother, room mate, life partner, hero, neighbor, insert person of choice here) thus it should be acceptable. Personally, I do not buy into the "this time it's different" method of excusing behavior. Nor do I fall into the "yea, but you have gotta understand" version of rationalization.

Personally, I prefer fair play... regardless of whether it is online, live, home game, virtual poker room, or casino.

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