The KGC appointed an independent party led by former New Jersey State Gaming Regulator Frank Catania, who now is a principal in Catania Gaming Consultants and the Law Offices of Catania & Associates, LLC. The team of investigators will launch a complete audit and investigation into the online gaming companies of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, which will focus on their parent company, Tokwiro Enterprises. Surprising to those who have been closely following both the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet cheating scandals is that Tokwiro will be audited, as the company is said to be headed up by Joe Norton, the former Grand Chief of Kahnawake. Such close ties being under such intense scrutiny could provide interesting results or put the scandals to rest.
The statement from the KGC notes that the purpose of the investigation is to ensure that the online gaming sites are fair to and safe for its players, KGC license rules are being followed, and all participants in past fraud have been removed from the company. In addition, any criminal activity pinpointed will be reported to the authorities.
The July 27th complete statement from Murray Marshall, Senior Advisor of the KGC, is reprinted as follows:
Effective immediately, the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission (KGC) has appointed an independent monitor, led by former New Jersey State Gaming Regulator, Frank Catania, to investigate the KGC Licensee, Tokwiro Ent., parent company of both Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.
Mr. Catania is a former Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), the regulatory and enforcement agency responsible for maintaining integrity and trust in all Atlantic City gaming operations. As division director, he was a driving force in updating the New Jersey Casino Control Act by fine tuning the balance between regulatory necessity and economic stewardship. After leaving the DGE, he served as the vice president in charge of compliance for Players International, Inc. where he was instrumental in resolving compliance issues the company had encountered in the State of Louisiana, prior to his appointment. He is a principal in Catania Gaming Consultants and the Law Offices of Catania & Associates LLC.
The Independent Monitoring Team will be given the task of completing a full forensic audit/investigation of the online gaming business of both licensed entities. The main purpose of the investigation is to ensure that the games offered to the public are fair and honest and that all player protections as required by the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Regulations are being complied with, without exception. The monitoring team will also be charged with verification that all those involved in the fraudulent activities in any manner, no matter how slight, have been or are removed from the licensee company and verify that Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker have submitted to full compliance with the directives issued by the KGC and recommended by the independent monitor.
Furthermore, Mr. Catania’s team will be empowered by the KGC to have full access to interview all employees, past or present, review all records, contact and interview all sub contractors and individuals whom the monitoring team believes necessary. Any failure by the licensees could result in immediate revocation of their license privileges with the KGC. In the event that any criminal activity is found to have occurred, such activity will be reported to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution.
KGC License Holder, Tokwiro Enterprises has agreed to comply fully and submit to this independent monitor.
KGC Chairman, Dean Montour adds, “While the ongoing investigative process has dominated the attention of the KGC in recent months, we are fully confident in the ability of the Independent Monitoring Team to deliver results and assist the Commission in bringing this matter to a decisive conclusion.”
As per the terms of the monitoring agreement, and at the conclusion of the process, the KGC will review the report of the monitoring team and enter the results into their final considerations at the time of ruling in the Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker investigations.