What are poker bots
Bots are basically automated software that plays poker by itself using parameters, like what cards to raise with or call with, you put into it. Basically.
Are they effective and profitable? Not that I have ever heard of. They are not sophisticated enough to adjust to different playing styles or table dynamics. In theory they might be profitable at limit hold'em since that is a more basic form of poker.
But from what I have gathered in 4 years of online poker playing, Bots (profitable ones, at least) are more of a myth than anything else. Yes they exist. But they are rare and most importantly exploitable if you can spot one.
But should the be outlawed, or banned? or who cares