Friday, September 11, 2009

KGC Releases Final Report on UltimateBet Cheating Scandal

A Kahnawake Gaming Commission representative called me this afternoon to let me know that the KGC report on UltimateBet was forthcoming. If you want to read it yourself, click here. I was aware of the ongoing KGC process in pulling together the report, including complications that delayed it significantly from when it was originally promised. There was the lengthier than expected Kahnawake nation investigation that painstakingly examined the various claims made regarding the scandal, and sifted through recreated records to help assemble the final report. I'd even bet a nickel they don't have it 100% right yet, as it turned out to be a highly complicated matter.

After reading the findings, I don't think there was a ton of new stuff here, except for the further expansion earlier as to when the cheating at UB began (now dated back to 2003), and a further expansion in the total number of screen names involved (now up to 117). The KGC listed both account numbers and screen names within its report, which does serve a purpose in that online players who allege they were cheated and didn't receive refunds can now search through their own hand histories -- if they retained them -- and see if these screen names appear.

One thing I noticed is that while most of the screen names implicated in earlier postings across the web were carried forward here, a couple or three seem to have been omitted from the latest version. Why that is I can't say; it could be simple typos, or it could be that accounts once thought to be involved were cleared after further investigation.

It's also worth noting that 31 other people, besides Russ Hamilton. were noted in the KGC report as being connected in some way to the scandal, though the KGC doesn't name them. There is already a boatload of conjecture as to why, though the KGC claims that it is to protect ongoing investigations and to protect itself from civil liability. The KGC has already forwarded its findings to various and sundry law enforcement entities that may have interest in the matter. Three or four names have already been identified in connection with a few of the screen names in the past, and those folks are almost certainly among the 31 additionally claimed to be involved by the KGC. But as to whether they were active participants remains an open topic for conjecture. I'd guess the 31 are comprised of a mix of online players and one-time workers from the UB offices, the latter centered mainly in Costa Rica.

In light of this, the recent, publicized twitter from Phil Hellmuth agent Brian Balsbaugh about the other names eventually leaking out makes a whole lot more sense. As the bloodhunt begins against those screen names and the real people behind them, a lot of people on the periphery are likely to do some finger-pointing in an effort to remain clear of the carnage. That's where a lot of that "leakage" is likely to come from, the "every man for himself" attitude that we'll be likely to see ahead. There's also the lingering chance that Russ Hamilton himself will spill details about the affair upon continuing pressure from authorities, assuming he is indeed guilty, though I'll save that for another "Just Conjecturin'" post.

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