KGC passes judgment on UltimateBet scandal

Russ Hamilton
1994 WSOP Main Event champion Russell Hamilton.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission released its final decision regarding the UltimateBet cheating scandal Friday.

The Commission once again confirmed that cheating did occur on the online poker site and that Tokwiro Enterprises, owner of UltimateBet, had returned a total of $22 million to its affected customers.

Tokwiro Enterprises was also fined $1.5 million over the incident.

"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," said KGC Chairman Dean Montour.

"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."

According to the decision, the ability to view hole cards was enabled by illicit software placed on the UltimateBet servers prior to November 2005. A third party account was then used to view players hole cards and the information passed on to the offending players.

The user names on the accounts maintained by those responsible were changed often in an apparent attempt to avoid detection.

The Commission named 1994 WSOP Main Event champ Russell Hamilton as the individual it believes is primarily responsible, adding that there were 31 individuals who were associated to varying degrees with Hamilton when the alleged cheating took place.

Names were not released to the public.

In total, the KGC's investigation revealed 23 accounts with 117 different usernames were used to facilitate the cheating and the money was disbursed using player-to-player transfers on the site.

The Commission has provided the results of its investigation to law enforcement authorities, who will determine whether criminal charges should be laid against one or more of the individuals involved.

The KGC noted that UltimateBet has taken significant steps to modify its control systems to prevent cheating and other improprieties in the future.

To read the full text of the release click here.

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