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UltimateBet admits cheating occurred

30 May 2008

UltimateBet's owners, Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG, admitted Thursday that UltimateBet security had been breached by former employees and accounts with access to opponent's hole cards were used to cheat in high-stakes games.

"Certain player accounts did in fact have an unfair advantage, and that these accounts targeted the highest limit games on the site," said the company in a statement. "The individuals responsible were found to have worked for the previous ownership of UltimateBet prior to the sale of the business to Tokwiro in October 2006. Tokwiro is taking full responsibility for this situation and will immediately begin refunding UltimateBet customers for any losses that were incurred as a result of unfair play."

This is the second time in less than a year that a Tokwiro property has admitted that cheating has gone on in their poker room. In January, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission fined Tokwiro's Absolute Poker $500,000 after it was revealed players with "superuser" accounts that could see hole cards of opponents had cheated at the tables.

Allegations of cheating at UltimateBet first surfaced in January, when the online poker room was first notified that the "NioNio" account might be involved in unfair play. Later that month, UltimateBet suspended that and related accounts and began and launched an investigation.

Here's what happened next, according to a timeline provided by Tokwiro:

  • February 2008: Preliminary findings indicate abnormally high winning statistics for the suspect accounts. After discussions with the KGC, UltimateBet engages third-party gaming experts to assist with the analysis.
  • February 2008: Investigators confirm that the suspect accounts are associated with individuals who had worked for UltimateBet under the previous ownership.
  • February 2008: UltimateBet discovers the unauthorized code that allowed the perpetrators to obtain hole card information during live play. The code was part of a legacy auditing system that was manipulated by the perpetrators of the fraud.
  • February 2008: UltimateBet immediately removes the unauthorized code and works with the KGC and with third-party auditors to verify that the security hole has been eliminated.
  • March 2008: Six player accounts are confirmed to have participated in this scheme. No accounts were deleted at any point, although some account names were changed multiple times. The following account names are known to have been used in the fraudulent activity: NioNio, Sleepless, NoPaddles, nvtease, flatbroke33, ilike2win, UtakeIt2, FlipFlop2, erick456, WhackMe44, RockStarLA, stoned2nite, monizzle, FireNTexas, HeadKase01, LetsPatttty, NYMobser, and WhoWhereWhen.
  • May 2008: The investigation confirms that the fraudulent activity took place from March 7, 2006 to December 3, 2007.
  • May 2008: Gaming Associates certifies that the software code that enabled unfair play was removed from UltimateBet servers in February of 2008.
  • May 2008: Customers affected by this incident are identified, and plans for corrective action are reviewed with the KGC.

UltimateBet is now free to refund customers who lost money to the fraudulent accounts, Tokwiro statement said. In addition, Tokwiro says they have eliminated the software hole that allows hole cards to be seen and are instituting new procedures to prevent, detect and investigate unfair play and fraud. One rule change that will take place immediately is UltimateBet customers will no longer be able to change account names unless they've suffered from "abuse" in the chat rooms.

UltimateBet admits cheating occurred is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan

Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.

Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.