The Ultimate Bet cheating scandal, one of online poker’s blackest incidents since the inception of the technology, took a major step closer to conclusion today with the release of an 11-page official findings report from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC).
In the report the KGC, one of the main governing and regulatory bodies for the online poker industry, found that although a substantial amount of cheating did take place on Ultimate Bet between June 2003 and December 2007, involving individuals associated with the company, as those individuals are no longer with Ultimate Bet and indeed the company itself has been acquired by Tokwiro Enterprises, who were found to have had no previous knowledge of the cheating that had taken place, Ultimate bet will be allowed to keep their operational license with the KGC.
It was noted in the report that Tokwiro has fully cooperated with the KGC throughout the course of this investigation, one the KGC is calling “the most difficult, lengthy and complex investigation the Commission has ever undertaken.” It was also noted that Tokwiro has fully complied with all initial conditions asserted by the Commission including refunding more than $22,000,000 to players effected by the scandal.
As well as delivering its decision on the fate of Ultimate Bet’s license, the report also gave a detailed timeline of the cheating scandal itself- which involved embedded software at Ultimate bet allowing cheaters to view their opponent’s hole cards- listing 23 specific accounts involved in the cheating, which represented 117 separate user names on Ultimate Bet.
Once again, the Commission named former WSOP Main Event champion Russ Hamilton as the main beneficiary of the cheating, although the report goes on to mention 31 other individuals also involved, all of whom were either associated with Russ or with Ultimate Bet’s previous owner the eWorld Holdings Group.
Although the Kahnawake Gaming Commission does not have the jurisdiction to assess criminal culpability to the individuals found- throughout the course of this investigation- to have been involved in the scandal, the report does mention its intent to fully work with all the legal powers that do.
“…based on the information it [KGC] obtained during the course of its investigations into this matter, and after consulting with its legal advisors, the Commission formed the opinion that the cheating incidences detailed herein could constitute criminal behaviour. Accordingly, the Commission alerted and is fully cooperating with the appropriate law enforcement agencies to take the appropriate actions. “
For more information on the Kahnawake Gaming Commission report, read the official document at www.kahnawake.com/gamingcommission/kgc091109b.pdf.