UPDATE: The sum $60 million, which appeared initially in the IGamingNews report, was incorrect. The sum should instead be $6.1 million, as it now stands.
A gaming consulting firm run by the former New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has uncovered the man mainly responsible for the cheating scandal that bilked players out of more than $6.1 million on UltimateBet.com, and he’s a former World Series of Poker champion.
Russ Hamilton is named as the main perpetrator behind the scam, according to a report published today by IGamingNews, which references the commission’s interim report. The full report is due November.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), which licenses many of the online poker and gambling sites, hired former New Jersey Assistant Attorney General Frank Catania Sr.’s Catania Gaming Consultants to find out just who it was that perpetrated the cheating scam that used “superuser” accounts for 3.5 years to view opponents’ holecards. The firm named Hamilton, who won the WSOP main event in 1994. According to IGamingNews, he gained behind-the-scenes access as part of UltimateBet’s affiliate program team.
The scheme was uncovered by online players who noticed questionable play and began charting the suspicious players. Under pressure from these players, the KGC was forced to do a complete investigation, which is coming to a close. Other names of cheaters are expected to be released soon.
The KGC will try to work with law enforcement authorities to prosecute the cheaters.
So far, about $6 million has been returned to players.
The company will also have to remove all employees who CGC names as a threat to the security of the site, even if people with ownership stakes in the company are named. UltimateBet will also be fined $1.5 million.