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Poker News | World Poker News

AP and UB Scandals Featured on 60 Minutes Sunday

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The story has been discussed on poker forums and in social circles for many months, and many people saw the television show’s camera crew and reporter Steve Kroft roaming the floor of the Rio during the World Series of Poker this summer. And after the show’s original air date in October was pushed back several times due to more timely stories requiring those time slots, there is a date. The CBS show 60 Minutes will run a story about online poker scandals this Sunday, November 30 at 7:00pm ET.

The statement introducing the segment, entitled “The Cheaters,” on the CBS website reads: “60 Minutes and The Washington Post reveal how online poker players suspecting cheating were forced to successfully ferret out the cheaters themselves. That’s because managers of the mostly-unregulated $18 billion Internet gambling industry failed to respond to their complaints. Steve Kroft and The Washington Post’s Gilbert Gaul report. Ira Rosen is the producer.”

According to most sources who were interviewed for or involved in the segment in some way, the story focuses on the Absolute Poker cheating scandal but leads into the UltimateBet cheating scandal. It also touches on the fact that both sites are owned by Tokwiro Enterprises, regulated only by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission that issued the gaming licenses for the online poker sites, owns both companies. In addition, there will be some reporting on the fact that online gaming sites are located offshore, as are the transaction centers that process funds, because the United States has so far refused to seriously consider regulation or taxation of the multi-billion dollar industry.

However, there will be some inaccuracies in the story, as evidenced by the first two sentences transcribed from the video clip of the story on CBS’ website.

“We should tell you,” the reporter said, “that this 18 billion dollar industry is illegal in the U.S., but the ban is almost impossible to enforce since the internet sites and the computers that randomly deal the cards and keep track of the bets are located offshore, beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. law enforcement. And unlike land-based casinos, there is almost no official regulation, enforcement, or supervision.”

The truth is that the industry is not illegal. The process of U.S. banks funding online gaming accounts is illegal, as of the signing into law of the UIGEA, but online gaming itself is as legal as playing the lottery.

With statements like this, indications are that the story on 60 Minutes will be a bit skewed, though the show’s reporters have a reputation for being fair and showing both sides of the story. If this is the case when the full episode airs this Sunday, this could actually be a positive for online poker, as it could show the billions of dollars that could be taxed to benefit the United States and the benefits that could come from regulation of the industry as a whole.

Technically, the worst that can happen is that it will change the minds of no one, and those who believe that gambling is wrong will continue to hold strong to those judgments. But the best that can happen is that people take a second look at reversing the UIGEA and enacting some laws that will provide much-needed oversight to the online gaming industry, giving it more legitimacy, consumer protection, and growth potential.

Tune in on Sunday, November 30th at 7:00pm ET on CBS to see the entire story.

*Poker is the only place that you can lie to your best friend, steal from him, and take his last dollar...and it's accepted. No, better yet, it's expected and it's not cheating, it's the way the game is played. There are many reputable poker sites that work very hard to earn your trust and provide you with optimum security. PokerWorks presents Online Poker Rooms for your review!*

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