KGC releases Absolute Poker report

Empire Casino, London

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission released a report on Friday with the results of an audit on Absolute Poker and how the gaming company will be penalized as a result of what the investigation found, including a $500,000 fine.

Absolute Poker came under the microscope in the latter part of 2007 when cheating allegations surfaced online that said someone at the poker site had the unfair advantage of being able to see everyone's hole cards at the table while playing.

The cheating was discovered when a player requested a hand history from a tournament and was somehow given the hand history for everyone during the entire tournament. When analyzed, the history showed that a certain player had made the correct decision on every hand he played, which would be statistically improbable.

Initially Absolute Poker said it looked into the allegations and found no wrongdoing. Later, however, in light of the information that was surfacing, the poker site took a closer look at the matter and discovered an employee had breached the security system of the site and had played unfairly for a 40-day period.

While Absolute Poker conducted its own investigation, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission initiated an independent audit by Gaming Associates as well to look at the matter and see what, if any, violations the poker site itself may have committed.

The results of the investigation show:

  1. From Aug. 14, 2007, and continuing through a period of about six weeks, accounts GRAYCAT, PAYUP, STEAMROLLER, POTRIPPER, XXCASHMONEYXX, SUPERCARDM55, DOUBLEDRAG, RONFALDOXXB and ROMNALDO were used to compromise Absolute Poker's system by participating in games with players using software that allowed them to see other players' hole cards.

    The Commission identified the person or persons responsible for breaching the system and cheating and has directed Absolute Poker to have them removed from playing any role in the mind and management or operations at the poker site. Absolute Poker must also provide proof to the Commission that this has been done.

  2. The person or persons involved in the cheating associated with Absolute Poker's operations deleted certain game logs and records, which hampered the KGC's investigation. However, it didn't prevent them from finding enough information to determine what happened.

    The KGC is satisfied with the level of cooperation provided by the poker site's management and staff throughout the investigation.

  3. There is no evidence to indicate that the impugned activities were initiated or sanctioned by Absolute Poker as a corporate activity or that the activities were intended to benefit Absolute Poker as a corporate entity.

  4. The principals of Absolute Poker failed to contact the Commission within 24 hours after they became aware the impugned activities had occurred.

  5. Absolute Poker has made expeditious efforts to reimburse players affected by the cheating scandal. If any players provide the Commission with evidence within the next 60 days after this report was released that they were affected by the cheating and have not yet been reimbursed, the Commission will direct Absolute Poker to reimburse them.

  6. Absolute Poker has taken appropriate actions to address the vulnerability of its system and to prevent it from being compromised again.

Because of the Commission's finding No. 4, which entails a violation of part of the Commission's Regulations, Absolute Poker does face the following punishment from the KGC:

  • For the next two years, Absolute Poker will be subject to random audits of logs and records, the cost of which will be paid by Absolute Poker. If the poker site is found in breach of any provision of the Kahnawake Gaming Law, the conditions attached to its Client Provider Authorization or other KGC directives, the site's Client Provider Authorization will be suspended.
  • Absolute Poker must immediately implement a continuous compliance program and other related remedial measures, as directed by the Commission.
  • The persons responsible for the impugned activities will be permanently removed from playing any role in Absolute Poker's mind and management or operations, with satisfactory proof that this is done given to the Commission.
  • Absolute Poker must pay a $500,000 fine to the KGC, paid in full in the next 60 days.
  • Absolute Poker will post a security deposit of such a type and amount that is acceptable to the Commission to be held by the Commission for the next two years to be used to off-set any costs associated with any further breaches of the Kahnawake Gaming Law or other directives and regulations given by the Commission.
  • Absolute Poker will pay to the Commission all costs associated with the investigation into this matter, including costs related to Gaming Associate's audit, any follow-up costs and costs of ongoing work that must be performed as a result of the audit and the decision.

The report and decision was signed by Chairperson David Montour, Commissioner Melanie Mayo and Commissioner Kevin Kennedy.

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