Wednesday, July 23, 2008
D'Amato Agrees Poker Cheating Calls For Online Casino Regulation
D'AMATO UPSET WITH LACK OF ONLINE POKER REGULATION
What the Kahnawake did not do was charge anyone with a crime, or open their operation for inspection, so as to verify the claims that the games could now be trusted...So says the chairman of the Poker Players Alliance
The recent poker scandals at Absolute Poker and UltimateBet have drawn the ire of former U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato and the organization he chairs, the Poker Players Alliance. The cheating which occurred at the online casinos has been attributed to a lack of regulation and transparency at the online gambling sites run by the Kahnawake Tribe outside Montreal.
Both sites were found to have software running which allowed certain poker players to see not only their own cards, but all the cards dealt at the table. The Kahnawake blamed employees who had worked under previous owners of the poker sites, promised to refund money lost to any participants in shady games, and said the employees had been fired and the software corrected.
What the Kahnawake did not do was charge anyone with a crime, or open their operation for inspection, so as to verify the claims that the games could now be trusted.
D'Amato released a statement condemning online cheating, and taking the Kahnawake to task for not providing access and visibility which would allow the return of trust to sites owned by the tribe.
Most importantly, D'Amato used the situation to call once again for federal regulation of the online casino industry, asserting that the government has abandoned its citizens in its misguided zeal to ban online gambling.
Basic consumer protection requires the government to step in and provide a safe, regulated environment for poker players and other online gamblers, D'Amato also noted.
Sherman Bradley, gaming analyst at Online Casino Advisory, said in response to the scandals, "The truth is that, as shocking as the cheating was, the reaction of the ownership group to basically act as if they could now be trusted because they said so was even more absurd. Only proper government regulation can prevent this scam from occurring again. Note that Absolute Poker and UltimateBet are not accepted as advertisers by the United Kingdom regulatory group. British citizens are served by their government informing them as to which site is trustworthy, while Americans get to play Russian roulette."