60 Minutes to Air AP/UB Story This Sunday

by , Nov 25, 2008 | 2:40 pm

The day that UB and AP finally merge to create the Cereus Poker Network, comes this from the 60 Minutes section of CBSnews.com:

THE CHEATERS – 60 MINUTES and The Washington Post reveal how online poker players suspecting cheating were forced to successfully ferret out the cheaters themselves. That’s because managers of the mostly-unregulated $18 billion Internet gambling industry failed to respond to their complaints. Steve Kroft and The Washington Post’s Gilbert Gaul report. Ira Rosen is the producer.

It’ll be the first story on this coming Sunday’s 60 Minutes broadcast, and should be available online by Monday morning.


  • Interesting that they have chosen to run it on one of the slowest TV days of the year.

  • zero2hero

    Gotta go with Dan on this one. Shady site + shady site + invisible ownership structure = -EV cubed.

  • Nice segue. (See previous post.)

  • I think it’s interesting that 60 Minutes declares online poker “illegal” — they apparently didn’t get the poker-media memo.

  • ***Interesting that they have chosen to run it on one of the slowest TV days of the year.***

    Actually, never mind that. Apparently this upcoming weekend tends to be one of the more important television weekends of the year:

    http://www.insightgarden.com/generator/files/TV%20Week%2011-21-05%20pdf.pdf

  • This is the kind of thing that could give gambling a bad name.

  • I got news for you, dude … it’s already GOT a bad name! If this story doesn’t run, things don’t get “better” for poker. That much I am sure of.

  • My concern is, anyone who watches this segment who already had an opinion that online poker is “questionable” could come away fully convinced that it is a really bad idea. The mere fact that anyone was caught cheating at an online poker site will convince some people that cheating probably happens at all the sites and just hasn’t been discovered yet. I hope the full story concentrates on the shoddy management by the AP/UB company and not on the allegedly “shady” nature of online poker itself.

  • I dont know…I was on site when their production team was here and have had several long conversations with their producers over the past 5-6 months, and after all was said and done, this whole experience was something of a “crash course” for them, and Im still not sure that they “get it”.

    Chuck

  • I dunno Chuck. I’ll agree that they might not get the finer nuances, but for as complex as the online poker world can be, they’ve done a pretty good job handling everything from Watergate to Enron to the flaws in Homeland Security, etc.

    They’ve dealt with far bigger amounts of money, and much tougher secret-ish societies to crack through. Here’s a quick example of a Steve Kroft story I came across via Google:

    “At a time when the fledgling Iraqi army was in desperate need of arms and ammunition, at least half a billion dollars was stolen by the very people the U.S. had entrusted to run the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in 2004 and 2005. Under the noses of American and British advisers, hundreds of millions of dollars flowed from the Iraqi treasury into the private accounts of mysterious middlemen. Most of the suspects, including the interim Minister of Defense, managed to flee the country before Iraqi investigators could arrest them.”

    You and your homies might not come out looking the best, of course. But I have a feeling you’re not going to be the bad guys either.

  • ***My concern is, anyone who watches this segment who already had an opinion that online poker is “questionable” could come away fully convinced that it is a really bad idea***

    Fuck’em … who cares? There are people who think evolution is questionable, after all. Online poker is simply too big to live in a quiet peaceful underground. It’s gonna have some enemies and haters regardless. It doesn’t matter if the industry has more haters so long as there’s a net gain of understanding as to WHY we want regulation and taxation.

  • Well Dan, I can tell you I communicated with these guys since last May on this, and despite how many questions I answered fully, their line of questioning indicated that they were looking for some sort of Man-Behind-The-Curtain.

    As for Kroft, he didnt get involved til the day of shooting.

    This thing was driven by the Washington Post reporter and the 60 Min. Producer.

    The best question came in early June this past year, in a telephone conversation I had with the Producer, the guy who was building this story:

    Q.) How many phones are there at AP?

    A.) Im not sure I understand what you mean..how many PHONES, is what you want to know?

    Q.) How many phone lines to the computers…the computers at AP?

    A.) Can you explain, Im really not getting this..?

    Q.) The computers at AP that run the games, how many connections do they have?

    A.) Oh…you think that theres a room full of PCs, with each computer having phone lines running in and out of it, running the game…I get it now.

    It doesnt work like that, what with the “phone lines” and all these PCs sitting in a room, its actually a network managed by a series of computers called servers, which are housed in the climate controlled facility, of which I am on the board.

    Q.) Yeah, yeah….the servers…right, tell me about these servers.

    I’ll never forget that day, everything I had respected and thought I knew about 60 Minutes since I was a kid sort of went down the drain when I realized I had to explain how the basics of the internet worked to respected adults 30 years old than I am.

    Trying to communicate that we (Kahnawake) has no stake in the outcome of games was an even bigger challenge, they went into the story convinced that we (the Community) were “the house” and that players were playing against us, somehow.

    I remember rubbing my temples a lot during that conversation.

  • They had to start somewhere, though, right? I’ve dealt with a few reporters on a smaller level who didn’t “get it” … yet eventually they understood pretty close. Not always. But usually.

    But it occurs to me, Chuck, we might not want the same results. I want to see fully legal online poker in the United States … where the likes of UB, Full Tilt, PartyPoker, et al … can all be headquartered in the US (or at least have offices here), can advertise dot-com sites on TV, and can accept money with an easy one-click back-and-forth between my bank and the site.

    But if I were able to magically snap my fingers and make that happen, would that threaten the existence of Mohawk Internet Technologies, the KGC, etc.?

  • Unfortunately Dan, the learning curve appeared to be a lot steeper for them than most reporters Ive dealt with over the years. In recent memory, the one reporter who seemed to “get it” was a fellow from MSNBC who grasped the concept right away and then went on to report the details related to ExCapsa’s previous ownership and the suit filed against them by UB’s present ownership.

    Its odd, throughout much of the world, almost all of the things that you want to see are already in place (advertising, payments, full and defined legal freedom to engage in play), with the US as the holdout and some individual states making play illegal.

    I remember attending industry shows back in 2001 when land based gaming interests first started licking their chops, the goal was to install protectionist barriers to the US market which would allow them to “catch up” and ultimately enter the market as the 800 lb gorillas.

    I would be interested to see what type of inter-state style legislation would take place, as each would be clamoring for access to the possible tax revenues, which is really what its all about at the end of the day. For the State Govts, its less about who gets to regulate, so much as who gets to tax you.

    As for Kahnawa:ke, revenues are generated from the utility fees applied to the game operators housing their hardware at the data centre, as we do not impose a tax structure.

    Since this whole investigation opened up earlier in the year, and I met over dinner with my colleagues from other jurisdictions, they all breathe the same sigh of relief knowing full well that it didnt happen in their back yard, because they know full well that it just as easily could have.

    The majority of the world’s i-gaming jurisdictions have built their regs off of the Kahnawa:ke model, and the scam that was perpetrated against UB served as a wake-up call for many of them who never conceived that something like this could have happened.

    Where ever there are large sums of money at play, whether it be in the banking industry, financial markets or land based gaming sectors, there will always be individuals looking to cheat the system. It is the role of the Regulator to prevent this from taking place whenever possible, and when it does happen, to move in and correct the situation.