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Gary Trask

Gary  Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

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UltimateBet charged with 'unfair play'

13 Mar 2008

By Gary Trask

For the second time in the last six months, a popular online poker site has been charged with allegations of unfair play.

According to a press release issued by UltimateBet, one of the 10 largest online poker rooms, the site was alerted to suspicions of a player exhibiting "abnormally high winnings statistics" and "having an unfair advantage during play."

The allegations were made by concerned players on Jan. 12 and were directed to UltimateBet and to its licensing authority, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC). "The allegations also included reports of suspicious activity concerning the deletion of the NioNio account and other accounts that may have been related to this scheme, " UltimateBet said.

"We immediately launched an extensive inquiry involving an independent third-party expert to review hundreds of thousands of hand histories, all of which were promptly locked down and made available to this expert," UltimateBet said in its statement. "The initial findings of our third-party expert confirm that the NioNio account's winning statistics were indeed abnormal, and we have expanded the investigation to look into whether an unfair advantage existed, how such a scheme might have been perpetrated, and whether additional accounts beyond those of NioNio were involved.

"UltimateBet is in regular communications and contact with its regulatory authority, The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), and will continue to cooperate fully with that body," the company added.

The scandal brings back memories of this past October when Absolute Poker was mired in a cheating scandal that prompted the KGC to audit the site. The controversy ignited after complaints began to surface that there were "superuser" accounts that could see the hole cards of all the players at a table. In January, the KGC fined AbsolutePoker $500,000 following an investigation into these allegations.

Both UltimateBet and Absolute Poker are owned by Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG, which is headed by the former Grand Chief of the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, Joe Norton, who did not respond to e-mails from Casino City requesting a comment. Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG is located in Kahnawake and also owns Vegas Poker 247 and AP Lady.

UltimateBet's also said in its statement that it "is determined to complete a full and thorough investigation."

"We pride ourselves on providing a safe, secure playing environment for our customers. The investigation has proven to be extremely complex and, therefore, has been more extensive and taken much longer than initially expected. We continue to aggressively pursue the matter and will communicate the findings of our full investigation to our regulatory authority and to our customer base as soon as practicable."

 
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