KGC Issues Final UB Scandal Report

Account Names Released, Hamilton Said to Have 31 Co-Conspirators

by , Sep 11, 2009 | 2:13 pm

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission’s investigation into the UltimateBet cheating scandal has been concluded with the release of its final decision. The 11-page document does provide some new information.

• In total, Tokwiro, owner of UltimateBet, refunded $22,054,351.91 to players affected by the cheating incidences.
• Tokwiro paid $1.5 million in fines, plus the costs of the investigation, to the KGC.
• Tokwiro is on a one-year “probation” period, during which time it must provide all details of daily operations, including financial and gaming records.
• Going forward, Tokwiro must maintain three sets of web/game logs, one of which will be housed at the offices of the KGC.
• All officers, directors, shareholders, and key people associated with Tokwiro must be known to the KGC.
• There were 23 accounts and 117 usernames used in the cheating.
• Much of the stolen money was disbursed through player-to-player transfers on UB.
• Russell Hamilton, associated at the time with eWorld Holdings Group, was primarily responsible for the scandal. The “vast majority” of the IP addresses used were directly connected to Hamilton.
• Hamilton’s actions that constituted “criminal behaviour” were associated with 31 other individuals, whose names were not released in the document.
• All information has been provided to law enforcement authorities to determine if criminal charges can be filed.

The entire decision can be accessed here by clicking on the “News” link.

The accompanying press release stated:

The decision released today reviews the corrective actions that have been taken by Tokwiro over the past 12 months, and concludes that Tokwiro has provided sufficient evidence to justify the continuation of its license to operate, subject to a number of additional conditions of licensure.

“Despite the unfortunate circumstances that resulted in this cheating, we are satisfied that the actions taken by the Commission provided an equitable result for affected players – our first priority. We remain optimistic that this experience and the lessons learned from it will result in a higher standard of gaming regulation for companies licensed and regulated within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and elsewhere,” said Chairman Montour.

17 Comments to “KGC Issues Final UB Scandal Report”

  1. BJ Nemeth

    It’s going to take me some time to process this information. I’ll take time to read the full 11-page report over the weekend.

  2. DanM

    This is great, but those 31 other names are what people really want. By not releasing them, it begs the question: Whom are they trying to protect?

  3. DanM

    Also … which “law enforcement authorities” have been clued in? If it’s the Department of Justice that’s one thing. If it’s the Cleveland Independent School District Police, that’s another.

  4. Poker Shrink

    Dan needs to take his meds, on the other hand I would remind all that when the Nevada Gaming Commission released its findings on the 2 million chip mistake at the ’06 WSOP, all the NVGC said was: “Insufficient evidence for criminal prosecution” and that Harrah’s now had the full report and could now comment or even release the full report if they decided to do so. The NVGC gag order was lifted and Harrah’s/WSOP officials said absolutely nothing.

  5. Haley

    Shrink speaks correctly. As Chuck and I have talked about on a couple of occasions, there has been a tendency by a lot of ill-informed people to condemn the KGC simply because Joe Norton, a former member of the Kahnawake council, became a primary owner in Tokwiro in terms of its investment in UB/AP. That logic is sketchy. To the best of my knowledge, Norton left his Kahnawake role to further his own business interests before his Tokwiro enterprise entered the UB/AP picture. Or perhaps it’s even that he gave up the one to do the other.

    One needs to also consider the future role the KGC wants to fulfill regarding international online gaming, and understand that the KGC has always been upon a spit here; they needed to make a concerted effort to investigate this and find out what happened, or perceptions would have been terrible. The tendency to think Norton received special treatment is counterbalanced by the KGC’s need to protect its own image in an era when multinational political battles over online gaming are heating up. Being considered “rogue” is not part of a long-term plan for success in any business, particularly this one.

    Do I think the KGC has been overly patient in producing these findings? Sure, though it may be a cultural difference at play. But I also know that hundreds and hundreds or pages of evidence have been sifted through in this matter.

    Virtually every one us, me included, goes through life with a bundleful of stereotypes and preconceptions. Sometimes those preconceptions are correct, but sometimes they aren’t.

    I’m with Jen on this one, in that I understand why the KGC didn’t release the names. I’m pretty sure I already know four of the 31 anyway, not counting Hamilton, and I expect that many more of them will come out in the weeks and months ahead.

  6. Mookman5


    Do you really believe that Joe Norton bought UB after UIGEA passed and Excapsa cold no longer be public? I have heard from many people, some investors that felt they were shorted, or still await compensaton, that the whole sale was a way for the original owners to further themselves from US prosecution while still getting their piece of the pie.

    Perhaps the KGC, and MIT for that matter, are not giving special treatment to Mr. Norton. It all looks bad, but even if given the benefit of the doubt, this scandal was handled very poorly. How many times did COO Paul Leggett speak, UB press releases, or Annie Duke give, that were later proven to be inaccurate?

    This is all damage control. Most likely this isn’t even the whole story. Either way, time will hopefully tell. This Final Report that took so long to come out with, really offered nothing new aside from the superuser list. Too bad in a week or so nobody will care anymore, that will be it, and back to business as usual for UB

  7. Haley

    Mookman, I don’t care what you think about what I think. I can’t be any more honest about it than that.

  8. California Jen


    At this point, there are some parts of this scandal that need to be let go. The fact that is was handled poorly in the beginning was something that everyone acknowledged, and they seem to have remedied that with an extremely thorough investigation. Yes, Paul Leggett and Annie Duke and even the KGC gave out figures that proved to be inaccurate, but that was because the investigation was still ongoing! They didn’t have all of the facts or accounts or usernames until the investigation was complete, which was this week. Personally, I felt that Leggett and Duke were being as honest and forthright as they could be at the time, given the information they had.

    There will continue to be speculation about Hamilton’s 31 co-conspirators, and some people may even figure it out. Hell, there may even actually BE a criminal prosecution in the case. But until then, I think the grudges against UB have to be let go. I’m not saying that everyone should embrace the company and play poker there – I still will not – but the scandalous part of it has been cleared. Criminal part? Still pending, but it’s out of the KGC’s hands now.

  9. DanM

    Jen, I can’t believe I am hearing what you are saying. Are you gonna force me to be the UB/KGC skeptic?

    Mookman, I have a quasi-interest in what you know about shorted investors and whatnot. Because I’ve heard stories of real people’s lives who have been destroyed in the midst of all this … dudes who have NOT gotten their money back because they had so much money transfered between them and RH … yet in reality they were likely the victim of his shenanigans … and since then have gone on downward spirals of financial ruin, divorce, drug addiction, etc.

  10. Mookman5

    Dan, I have heard alot since being one of the 2+2 members trying to keep the UB story alive. I too have got many messages privately about players lives ruined, and other players claiming they are owed refunds. Also, people who were original investors in UB and AP seperately, that both have notes from banks, but no return as of yet. Dan I am new to this site, and would like to talk privately, how can we do this?

    To Haley, sorry I pissed you off awhile back. But how can you not comment and ignore the fact that Blast Off, who bought UB, had ties to Russ Hamilton? Then all of a sudden it is not Joe Norton, using Tokwiro as a sole proprietorship of Blast-Off? No way he was the one buying it. I also have a hard time believing Pokernews hard-hitting efforts on this as you take in advertising money from UB.

    Jen, at no point should any of this scandal be let go. It stinks of cover-up, just as the AP case. So you say it is ok for Paul or Annie to give out interviews, with facts proven to be wrong? The investigation was ongoing? huh? They pretended like it was over, then turned over the info to the KGC. How could UB get the timeline worng 3 times? How could they get the number of superuser accounts wrong 3 times? They were the ones that turned over the results to the KGC, so how could UB miss this stuff, but the KGC get it right?

  11. Haley

    Mookman, I’m not with PokerNews any more and haven’t been since shortly after the WSOP. I was never involved with the advertising anyway.

    There is no doubt that Joe Norton sought to enrich himself when he got involved with UB and AP, and that the whole thing was a shell sale, but what you can’t seem to comprehend is that Joe Norton is not the KGC, and hasn’t been for the duration of the time Tokwiro (the business) has been a player in this affair. While I have no use for you, I admit that you still accomplished some good in helping to publish the court documents detailing the case between Tokwiro and Excapsa. However, you seem hell-bent on bludgeoning anyone who dares to disagree with you or doesn’t do what you want.

    Good luck with that.

  12. California Jen

    Dan, I’m not saying that there weren’t some parts of the UB/KGC connection that smelled bad, but I’m starting to think we’re beating a dead horse.

    Mookman, I don’t think Duke or Leggett ever said the investigation was over, only that UB had upgraded and enlisted an entirely new security system to ensure that no one could ever compromise it again. They always acknowledged that certain parts of the investigation were ongoing, such as the reimbursements and the identification of usernames/accounts from the scandal. There were years worth of transactions to examine! The media pressured UB to speak, so Leggett and Duke did that, despite the ongoing investigation. And KGC never said the investigation was done until it just came out – on Sept. 11 – with its final report.

    I’m not saying that every part of this situation is squeaky-clean and perfect, but I feel that some people are holding on to this so tightly that nothing anyone – KGC, UB, Tokwiro, or even the police – could ever say would make it better.

    If there are people who are still owed money, they better be in constant communication with Tokwiro and the KGC to make sure it gets ironed out. At this point, if there is anyone who was cheated who just sits back and complains about it, my sympathy is gone. However, if they are actively pursuing their claims, whether personally or through legal means, I support that and would gladly publicize it if those people would come forward and tell their stories.

  13. Poker Shrink

    Just how would someone “actively pursue” a claim? There is no jurisdiction that anyone has yet been able to find for a cyber crime committed via servers on the grounds of a sovereign nation with no laws concerning such matters.

  14. California Jen

    Well, if it was me, I’d contact lawyers in all jurisdictions to find out what could be done. If I could do nothing, I’d contact the KGC, Tokwiro, and the media until someone addressed my problem and reimbursed money I was owed. But that’s just me…

  15. Poker Shrink

    Screaming Into the Void: Collecting Losses from the Ultimate Bet Hole

  16. Kevin Mathers

    Paul Leggett’s blog about the decision:

  17. jim makar

    I’m pretty sure half my family was directly involed in this.