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Poker News | World Poker News

UltimateBet Receives $15 Million Settlement, Pays Cheated Players

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Tokwiro Enterprises, parent company of scandal-ridden companies UltimateBet and Absolute Poker , scored what could be called a small victory on November 5th with relation to the UB cheating scandal. It received a settlement from the previous owner of UltimateBet, Excapsa Software, in the sum of $15 million, which allowed for the final repayment of all cheated players on the UB online gaming site.

Back on September 29, 2008, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission issued a report of its findings from the investigation of the UltimateBet cheating scandal. Not only was former WSOP main event champion Russ Hamilton named as the person responsible for and benefiting from the cheating incidents from May 2004 to January 2008, but it was released that UltimateBet had paid back $6.1 million to cheated players to that point, though much more was due. No amount was given, but more repayments to UB players were scheduled to resume on November 3rd, 2008.

Just in the nick of time, a settlement between Tokwiro Enterprises and Excapsa Software was approved in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on November 3rd, wherein Excapsa was ordered to pay $15 million to Blast-Off Ltd., the company that originally purchased UltimateBet from Excapsa and is controlled by Tokwiro. Those funds, or the court order for them, were then used to reimburse all victimized players who were still awaiting refunds. Tokwiro reported in its press release that all refunds had been completed.

Chief Operating Officer of Tokwiro, Paul Leggett, said, “We are pleased that we have finally agreed to a settlement with the previous owners of UltimateBet, and we are happy to announce the completion of the final refunds to players. Together with our regulatory body, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, we have fought long and hard to hold those responsible accountable for the fraud, to refund players, and to ensure this can never happen again. Now that the main perpetrator has been named, the settlement with the previous owners is behind us, and players have received refunds, it should not be apparent that Tokwiro had no involvement in this cheating and that we have fought to correct it with every tool at our disposal.”

Case closed? Not by a long shot. With Russ Hamilton named as the person responsible, and a space having been left open for other parties who may have participated in the scandal to still be named, the story is far from over.

Leggett added, “We continue to reserve the right to pursue further legal action against any individual or individuals involved in stealing from us or our customers. With this settlement, however, our claims against Excapsa are satisfied, and all player refunds will be completed. This brings us significantly forward in our search for justice in the aftermath of the cheating scandal.”

UltimateBet, with Tokwiro solidly behind the efforts, has made a solid effort over the past year to rebuild its image and rid itself of any ties to the scandal perpetrated by the site’s former owners. However, until Hamilton (and possibly others) are made to take responsibility for their actions, the poker community remains somewhat hesitant to completely forgive UB or Tokwiro for its decisions to purchase two companies involved in scandals and delayed responses to both situations.

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