Posts Tagged ‘kahnawake-gaming-commission’

Excapsa Pays Tokwiro, UB Player Refunds Complete

Grand Total of Transactions = $15 Million

by , Nov 5, 2008 | 5:00 pm

A press release was just received from Tokwiro Enterprises, noting that a settlement was reached between Excapsa Software (previous owner of UltimateBet) and Tokwiro Enterprises (current owner of UB) for $15 million. The amount is the same as what was still owed to players who were cheated in the UB scandal, as determined by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in its decision on the case, and those players have now received their refunds.


Tokwiro Claimed Damages As A Result of UltimateBet Cheating Scandal

Refunds To Affected Players Completed

MONTREAL (NOVEMBER 5, 2008) — Tokwiro Enterprises, ENRG (“Tokwiro”), the owner of AbsolutePoker and UltimateBet, today confirmed the settlement of its claims against Excapsa Software, the previous owner of UltimateBet. The Honorable Madame Justice Sarah E. Pepall of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice endorsed the settlement on November 3, 2008. Under the terms of the agreement, Excapsa will pay US$15 million to Blast-Off Ltd., the Tokwiro-controlled company that originally acquired UltimateBet. This payment will be used immediately to refund players who were affected by the cheating scandal that Tokwiro inherited when it purchased the business from Excapsa.

Paul Leggett, Tokwiro’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are pleased that we have finally agreed to a settlement with the previous owners of UltimateBet, and we are happy to announce the completion of the final refunds to players. Together with our regulatory body, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, we have fought long and hard to hold those responsible accountable for the fraud, to refund players, and to ensure this can never happen again. Now that the main perpetrator has been named, the settlement with the previous owners is behind us, and players have received refunds, it should now be apparent that Tokwiro had no involvement in this cheating and that we have fought to correct it with every tool at our disposal.

“We continue to reserve the right to pursue further legal action against any individual or individuals involved in stealing from us or our customers. With this settlement, however, our claims against Excapsa are satisfied, and all player refunds will be completed. This brings us significantly forward in our search for justice in the aftermath of the cheating scandal,” concluded Mr. Leggett.

UB Deadline Passes with No Refunds

Mark Seif splitting with Absolute, Annie Duke to leave Ultimate Bet?

by , Nov 3, 2008 | 9:55 pm

For those who recall the sanctions the Kahnawake Gaming Commission gave to Ultimate Bet regarding the “NioNio” superuser scandal, UB was given until Nov. 3rd to start dispensing refunds to affected customers. However, the pending litigation between Blast-Off Ltd and Excapsa Software Inc. as detailed earlier this year on has not yet been completed although terms of a settlement are nearly complete. Discussion of the settlement can be found over at 2+2. The company handling the liquidation, WSBG Consulting had a hearing Monday on the settlement and it appears that at least $15m more is due to players affected in the scandal. For those wondering why it’s taken so long for this matter to be settled, going through all the documentation on WSBG’s site and of the previous liquidator Mintz and Partners Limited would be a daunting task for anyone with an interest in the case. Expect some sort of state from UB either Tuesday or Wednesday with further details.

Some other information::

The purchase price that Blast-Off Ltd. paid to Excapsa has dropped from $130m to $81.4m.
Russ Hamilton, owner of 4,304,720 shares of Excapsa, had his shares canceled.

UPDATE: Wicked Chops Poker is reporting that Annie Duke may be leaving Ultimate Bet, and also may have won Celebrity Apprentice.

Refuted by Annie on her blog.

UPDATE #2: Wicked Chops also reports that the 60 Minutes piece on AP/UB will NOT air this coming Sunday.

UPDATE #3: Wendeen Eolis in Poker Player Newspaper reports that Mark Seif is leaving Absolute Poker.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission Releases Initial UB Findings

Russ Hamilton Named as Main Person Responsible

by , Sep 29, 2008 | 5:54 pm

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) has released its initial findings in the UltimateBet scandal. There are some jaw-dropping facts in the statement, like the $6.1 million figure that the KGC states has been reimbursed to cheated UB players, which does not include more reimbursements that are to commence on November 3rd. And Russ Hamilton is officially named as the main person responsible for and said to have benefited from the UB scandal.

Interesting to note that the KGC chose to release this statement as the Aruba Poker Classic gets underway…

(Thanks to Kevin Mathers for the heads-up, and for being the first website to have reprinted the statement in full.)

The entire statement is as follows:

Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission Imposes Sanctions on Ultimate Bet with Regard to Cheating Incidents

For immediate release

(MOHAWK TERRITORY OF KAHNAWAKE – September 29, 2008) Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission (“KGC”) Chairman Dean Montour today announced the initial findings of the audit conducted on licensee Ultimate Bet, as well as the sanctions to be imposed.

According to KGC Chairman Montour, the Commission has reviewed the information provided to it over the past months from Frank Catania of Catania Gaming Consultants of New Jersey; Gaming Associates, an Australian game testing company; and the permit holder. Chairman Montour said, “The Commissioners have made several findings of fact with regard to the cheating that occurred on the Ultimate Bet web site that included the identification of some of the individuals responsible for these incidents as well other significant violations of the Kahnawa:ke Interactive Gaming Regulations.”

The Commission found clear and convincing evidence to support the conclusion that between the approximate dates of May 2004 to January 2008, Russell Hamilton, an individual associated with Ultimate Bet’s affiliate program, was the main person responsible for and benefiting from the multiple cheating incidents. Furthermore, the KGC is currently in contact with the appropriate law enforcement agencies and intends to fully cooperate in the prosecution of all individuals involved in the UB cheating incidents.

Mr. Catania states, “My intention is to provide further information as it is uncovered, although the information already submitted to the KGC relating to Ultimate Bet warrants the KGC taking the actions it has today. Any further evidence uncovered with regard to cheating, withholding or destroying records in our continuing investigation will be reported to the KGC and the proper agency for appropriate action.”

As a result of the KGC’s findings of fact, the Commission called a special meeting, at which time it was unanimously decided to impose the following sanctions against Ultimate Bet:

1. Ultimate Bet is directed that by November 3, 2008 it shall, under the close supervision of the KGC, its employees and agents, commence refunding all players accounts found to have been adversely affected by the cheating of individuals under the control and supervision of the licensee. It is estimated that Ultimate Bet has to date reimbursed $6.1 million USD to players’ accounts found to have been adversely impacted by the cheating activity

2. Ultimate Bet is directed that by November 3, 2008 it is to remove any and all persons deemed as “unsuitable” by the KGC from all involvement with the company, which shall include all levels of ownership, management and operation. Ultimate Bet during that time period until November 3, 2008 is required to continue to provide complete details of all day-to-day operations of the company. These shall include financial as well as daily gaming records to Frank Catania and or his assigns. It is anticipated that this action will provide full disclosure and prevent any further improprieties or wrongdoing from occurring while ensuring that the public is being offered fair and honest games and all player monies will be protected.

3. Ultimate Bet’s control system as defined in section 9 of the Kahnawa:ke Interactive Gaming Regulations has been modified to prevent any further incidents of cheating or related improprieties.

4. Ultimate Bet will not delete or modify any logs including but not limited to web logs and game logs as required by the Kahnawa:ke Interactive Gaming Regulations and will continue to have those logs immediately available for inspection by the KGC or its agents.

5. Ultimate Bet shall immediately pay a fine of $1.5 Million USD to the KGC for its failure to implement and enforce measures to prohibit and detect fraudulent activities.

6. Ultimate Bet’s failure to comply fully with these measures will result in the immediate revocation of its KGC gaming permit.

Tiffany Michelle Signs With UltimateBet

by , Aug 3, 2008 | 11:55 pm

The official announcement came on July 29, but the post has been delayed as I decided how or if to mention it.

After Tiffany Michelle’s impressive run in the 2008 WSOP main event and 17th place finish, she has been offered a sponsorship deal by UltimateBet. She is now part of the site’s roster of pros, which includes Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy, and James “POKERPRO33” Campbell.

For Tiffany’s poker career, this may seem like a positive step, as she will be able to play more poker – live and online, cash games and tournaments. She will have an income regardless of her poker results, which will do well to make up for the lack of future income from PokerNews. After having previously defended her decision to wear the UB patch on PokerRoad Radio because she felt that the site treated her well during the main event, this announcement came as no surprise.

Even so, the Tiffany Michelle/UB partnership did come as a disappointment to many.

Tokwiro Completes its (Self) Investigation at UltimateBet

How Many Companies are Trying to Own This Investigation?

by , Jul 30, 2008 | 7:40 am

Despite the fact that things are finally happening and some progress is being shown with regards to the UltimateBet investigation, it seems that everyone involved wants to suddenly be a part of bringing the scandal to some sort of resolution. After six months of acknowledging and investigating and hoping it goes away, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, Gaming Associates, Frank Catania, Tokwiro Enterprises, and UB all care deeply about getting this done.

Funny how when a third party is brought in to investigate Tokwiro Enterprises, owner of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, Tokwiro suddenly concludes its own UB investigation days later. Wait, Tokwiro was investigating its own company’s scandal? Sounds a little like the U.S. Government…but I won’t get into that here.

In a statement published on the UB website, Tokwiro comes to the surprising conclusion that it had no part in the cheating that took place on UB prior to the purchase of the company. It notes that there were 19 accounts and 88 usernames associated with the “complex web of player-to-player transfers and withdrawals” that took place to scam real players on the site, and refunds to cheated players are in the process of being determined and issued. All results of the investigation have reportedly been turned over to the KGC.

Here is the statement in full:

MONTREAL, CANADA – (July 25, 2008) – Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG (“Tokwiro”), proprietors of (“UB”), one of the ten largest on-line poker cardrooms, today announced that it has concluded the investigation into allegations of unfair play on UB’s web site.

Tokwiro has compiled complete forensic evidence including the IP addresses, devices, transfer and withdrawal histories, and names associated with the player accounts that benefited from illicitly viewing hole card information. The results of Tokwiro’s internal investigation have been turned over to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) and its auditors, as that regulatory body continues its independent investigation. These results are in addition to the data which Tokwiro has already shared with the KGC.

Tokwiro has identified a total of 19 accounts and 88 associated usernames that were involved in the cheating, including the accounts that were named in Tokwiro’s publicly posted investigation updates of May 29, 2008 and July 8, 2008. The same perpetrators that were previously identified controlled all of these usernames. There are no new perpetrators involved, only new usernames. Usernames were changed many times over the course of the cheating scam in an apparent scheme to avoid detection. Our complete list of usernames involved in the cheating scheme has now been turned over to the KGC, and the Company does not expect to uncover any additional usernames.

Paul Leggett, Tokwiro’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “Make no mistake: our management team is outraged that this cheating occurred on our site through illicit software placed on the UB servers prior to our purchasing UltimateBet. Tokwiro is aggressively pursuing legal avenues of redress in order to protect and compensate our players and the business. Rest assured that we will release more information to the poker community and to the public at large as we enforce our and our players’ rights.”

“With respect to refunds to the affected players, we are continuing our analysis in order to determine the refund amounts. We will move forward with another round of refunds in the weeks ahead. We thank the poker community for its invaluable contributions to this investigation and assure it that we remain committed to fully investigating any claims of fraud on our site,” Mr. Leggett said.

The investigation revealed that the perpetrators logged into the client software, using an account that had the ability to view hole cards. The ability of a specific account to view hole cards was enabled by illicit software that was placed on the UltimateBet servers prior to October 2006, which was before Tokwiro acquired the business.

The account that was used to view hole cards never actually played in a game. Instead, the perpetrators used hole card information gained from logging in with this account while playing on other accounts, which thereby benefited from the cheating. The money won by the accounts that received hole card information was then moved around and off the site in a complex web of player-to-player transfers and withdrawals. This contributed to the complexity of Tokwiro’s efforts to uncover the truth.

Mr. Leggett concluded: “We cannot over-emphasize the fact that Tokwiro and its entire management team had no knowledge of the illicit software until it was revealed by our investigation; and no one associated with Tokwiro was involved in the cheating scheme at any point.”

Tokwiro Enterprises Being Investigated

KGC Puts Investigator on Company Owned by Kahnawake ex-Grand Chief

by , Jul 28, 2008 | 1:48 pm

Oooooh, somebody might be in trooooouble! Or this could be a necessary step to ensure that the CEREUS network will have no problems. Either way, the situation is getting dicier.

Less than a week after the Kahnawake Gaming Commission finally stepped into the UltimateBet fray and noted that it’s hoping to have a final decision released in the coming days, the KGC has released another statement. This one is interesting in that it details the beginning of a new and separate investigation, this one into Tokwiro Enterprises, the parent company of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker. The most noteworthy aspect of this situation is that Tokwiro Enterprises is owned by Joe Norton, former Grand Chief of Kahnawake. Yep. Take that and put in in your pocket.

The details of the independent investigation being launched is in the full copy of the statement below:

Mohawk Territory of Kahnawa:ke
July 27, 2008

Effective immediately, the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission (KGC) has appointed an independent monitor, led by former New Jersey State Gaming Regulator, Frank Catania, to investigate the KGC Licensee, Tokwiro Ent., parent company of both Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.

Mr. Catania is a former Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), the regulatory and enforcement agency responsible for maintaining integrity and trust in all Atlantic City gaming operations. As division director, he was a driving force in updating the New Jersey Casino Control Act by fine tuning the balance between regulatory necessity and economic stewardship. After leaving the DGE, he served as the vice president in charge of compliance for Players International, Inc. where he was instrumental in resolving compliance issues the company had encountered in the State of Louisiana, prior to his appointment. He is a principal in Catania Gaming Consultants and the Law Offices of Catania & Associates LLC

The Independent Monitoring Team will be given the task of completing a full forensic audit/investigation of the online gaming business of both licensed entities. The main purpose of the investigation is to ensure that the games offered to the public are fair and honest and that all player protections as required by the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Regulations are being complied with, without exception. The monitoring team will also be charged with verification that all those involved in the fraudulent activities in any manner, no matter how slight, have been or are removed from the licensee company and verify that Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker have submitted to full compliance with the directives issued by the KGC and recommended by the independent monitor.

Furthermore, Mr. Catania’s team will be empowered by the KGC to have full access to interview all employees, past or present, review all records, contact and interview all sub contractors and individuals whom the monitoring team believes necessary. Any failure by the licensees could result in immediate revocation of their license privileges with the KGC. In the event that any criminal activity is found to have occurred, such activity will be reported to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution.

KGC License Holder, Tokwiro Enterprises has agreed to comply fully and submit to this independent monitor.

KGC Chairman, Dean Montour adds, “While the ongoing investigative process has dominated the attention of the KGC in recent months, we are fully confident in the ability of the Independent Monitoring Team to deliver results and assist the Commission in bringing this matter to a decisive conclusion.”

As per the terms of the monitoring agreement, and at the conclusion of the process, the KGC will review the report of the monitoring team and enter the results into their final considerations at the time of ruling in the Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker investigations.

Murray Marshall
Senior Advisor
Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission

PPA Speaks out against Absolute, Ultimate Bet

D’Amato cites need for oversight, recourse

by , Jul 22, 2008 | 7:24 am

Ret. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato stops short of calling for UN intervention in the Kahnawake Territory, but he does express a desire to go after rogue online poker companies. This just in over the e-transom, from the Poker Players Alliance:

Statement of PPA Chairman Senator Alfonse D’Amato in Response to Online Poker Cheating Scandals

Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2008) – Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, chairman of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with over one million members nationwide, today issued the following statement in response to recent online poker cheating scandals.

“The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is the political and public policy voice for poker players in America. Central to our mission are advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. and around the country to protect poker players from misguided and vague laws and to establish licensed and regulated Internet poker in the U.S. To be clear, the PPA is not a regulatory body for poker players or the poker industry, nor do we seek to be. We are, however, compelled to speak out when our public policy mission is potentially undermined by actions which present Internet poker in a negative light.

“Trust is paramount in poker. Sadly, this foundation has been undercut by admissions from two well-known online poker companies, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, that cheating has occurred on their poker sites. The Poker Players Alliance condemns any and all cheating in poker no matter the forum in which it is played. Because of the current legal uncertainties and the lack of federal regulation and oversight, it is especially troubling when cheating occurs in online poker. This has created an untenable atmosphere and has denied the proper means to investigate allegations, administer due process and then apply appropriate penalties for the wrongdoers. We urge these companies and their regulating authority, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, to provide a full and transparent accounting of these breaches of the public trust to help lift the black cloud that has been placed over the industry.


Kevin’s Not-So-InstaPoker

by , May 29, 2008 | 2:22 pm

I probably should have posted this first, but since Dan twisted my arm encouraged me to do some posting here on Pokerati while he’s busy with the WSOP, I figured I’ll give it a shot.

On the heels of UB’s press release (found below): The CBC radio show Search Engine did a report on the Mohawk Internet Technologies server farm on the Kahnawake reservation. Not surprisingly, it took quite a bit of time and effort to be allowed in.

Now for some WSOP stuff:

The poker room opened yesterday, and here’s a soft opening report as well as some pictures from LasVegasVegas’ own FlipChip.

Taking place right now is the $500 WPA Poker super-satellite and seminar with Mike Caro.

For those hoping to get a seat at Saturday/Sunday’s $1,500 NL event, there’s rumors that the event will be capped at 4,000. Brasilia (which has 65 tables) is being used for other purposes until June 12, which would explain why you’re not seeing as many $1,500 events until after June 14.’s
poker staff held their 3rd annual WSOP Fantasy draft and the crew over at Wicked Chops Poker attempted to live blog it. Gary Wise provides a preview with his 2008 WSOP storylines.

More to come later tonight (if I’ve figured all this stuff out).

Deja Vu: More Online Cheating Allegations against Tokwiro Enterprises

by , Mar 17, 2008 | 9:32 pm

The UltimateBet cheating scandal is in full swing, as a third-party investigation has been ordered. As stated in a PokerWorks article, UB has confirmed that a player with the moniker “NioNio” had unusually high winning statistics and may have had an unfair advantage over other players.

Sound familiar? Does Absolute Poker ring a bell?

In some people’s minds, the Absolute Poker scandal was resolved when the Kahnawake Gaming Commission released its final decision on the matter. But to others, something didn’t seem right. And at the same time, there were already forum topics dedicated to allegations of cheating on AP’s sister site, UltimateBet. It’s all so confusing interesting.

Here are a few links to piece together:

1. Absolute Poker and UltimateBet are both owned by Tokwiro Enterprises. The owner of Tokwiro is Joe Norton, the man who served as the Grand Chief of the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory for about 25 years.

2. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission released its Absolute Poker scandal decision on January 11, 2008. UltimateBet’s press release acknowledges that it became aware of cheating allegations on January 12, 2008.

Coincidences? Really?

Life’s a Bluff: Absolute Punishment?

by , Jan 22, 2008 | 4:02 am

Absolute Poker Releases Statement

by , Jan 12, 2008 | 11:43 am

Without much choice in the matter, Absolute Poker has spoken in the form of a press release from Anna Molley, Vice President of Public and Community Relations.

In short, AP thinks the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission report is complete and accurate. AP “regrets” the “inadvertent” deletion of records and is most happy to put this “most distressing and regrettable” experience behind them.

Well, as long as AP is happy…

AP is also initiating a series of poker security summits to discuss security with “respected and independent members of the poker community.”

The site is just glad to “close the book on this sordid affair.” Wow. Poor AP. They’ve been through so much…

Here is the full press release: More…

Absolute Cheating Report Released

by , Jan 11, 2008 | 8:12 pm

The Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission has concluded its investigation into malfeasance at Absolute Poker.

Click here to read the whole thing.

The main conclusions:

  1. Beginning on August 14 and continuing for six weeks, various accounts were used to view hole cards, and the person(s) responsible have been removed from any role at AP.
  2. After the activities took place, person(s) associated with AP operations deleted records and gaming logs to hamper the investigation.
  3. No evidence shows that AP sanctioned or initiated the activities.
  4. Principles of AP failed to contact the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission within 24 hours of becoming aware.
  5. AP reimbursed all players with interest, but anyone who still wishes to make a claim can do so within 60 days of this report.
  6. AP has taken appropriate actions to address the “vulnerability in its systems” to prevent this from happening again.

Sanctions against Absolute:

  1. AP operations will be subject to random audits of logs and records over the next two years, the costs of which will be paid by AP. The site must also implement a continuous compliance program, and any person(s) responsible for any part of the cheating scandal must be removed from any role at AP, which the Commission feels has been done.
  2. AP must pay a fine to the Commission of $500,000 due within 60 days.
  3. AP must give a security deposit to the Commission to be held for two years which may be used to offset the cost of any future breaches of rules, laws, and regulations.
  4. AP must pay the Commission for all costs incurred through the investigation, including the audit.

Finally, there is a resolution to this matter.