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The Suite Blog >> A Little Warning About Kahnawake Poker Rooms

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June 11, 2008 - For anybody who hasn't heard the news yet, another cheating scandal has broken at a large-scale "regulated" online poker room. Shortly following the big scandal at Absolute Poker, a very similar cheating scheme has been uncovered at Ultimate Bet. Not a cheating scandal in which real players are colluding to take advantage of other players, this scandal (as was the case at Absolute Poker), stems from former employees getting backend access in the software to see other player's cards while posing as real players in real money games.

Although Ultimate Bet did not state how much money was swindled, they said they would refund every player who lost any money while playing hands with the six individuals responsible for the fraud, which is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars - likely millions - and which took place for over the course of almost two years. While all of this certainly is hard to digest, what's most disconcerting is the fact that like Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, and that like Absolute Poker, is owned by Tokwiro Enterprises, which is owned by Kahnawake's former Grand Chief.

While I don't want to give Tokwiro Enterprises any "benefit of a doubt", they claim the employees responsible for the fraud were all former employees, while in the case of Ultimate Bet, were employees under prior management. Yet the fact remains, there is clearly a security loophole that is making this kind of fraud possible - a security breach which the Kahnawake Gaming Commission should ensure all licensed poker rooms have proper protocols in place to prevent from happening.

But Kahnawake has nor is doing nothing about this problem. This is precisely why here at Online Casino Suite, we are warning all poker players to play at your own risk at a Kahnawake licensed online poker room. We are not extending this warning to Kahnawake licensed online casinos (just yet...maybe we can pressure them to do something about this), for the regulation protocols used to ensure security and fraud prevention at online casino is different than that of poker rooms. Interactions at online casinos are just between the player and the software, which is strictly audited to ensure payout percentages are met and hand results are unpredictable, while at poker rooms, it's you against other players, which we now know could be hacking into the software to see your cards!

So, not to scare you off from playing online poker, let me just reiterate that if you play at a Kahnawake licensed online poker room, you are taking your chances. And such is gambling. While not every poker room licensed by Kahnawake is a cheating scandal waiting to happen, in order to keep the gaming industry moving toward the highest level of gaming responsibility, and universal regulation at that, it's the players who need to make a stand. Either Kahnawake should improve their regulations or those responsible poker sites licensed by Kahnawake should get licensed elsewhere.

Originally published: June, 2008 | Categories: Online Poker

 

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