After a delay of almost two months, the long-running American television investigative news programme 60 Minutes is preparing to air its story on the Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker cheating scandals this Sunday.
Entitled How Online Gamblers Unmasked Cheaters, the programme will air at seven o’clock in the evening on November 30 and features journalist Steve Kroft interviewing online poker players Todd Witteles and Michael Josem among others. CBS has joined forces with The Washington Post newspaper and journalist Gilbert Gaul to complete the piece, which took almost four months to research.
The cheating began in 2005 with Ultimate Bet, an online casino operator licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. The Commission issued a report in September that identified the chief perpetrator as former World Series of Poker champion and former Ultimate Bet executive Russell Hamilton.
“The Commission found clear and convincing evidence to support the conclusion that, between the approximate dates of May 2004 to January 2008, Russell Hamilton, an individual associated with Ultimate Bet's affiliate program, was the main person responsible for and benefiting from the multiple cheating incidents,” read the report.
“Furthermore, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission is currently in contact with the appropriate law enforcement agencies and intends to fully cooperate in the prosecution of all individuals involved in the Ultimate Bet cheating incidents.”
The statement claimed that over $60 million in fraudulent play was involved and ruled that all affected players must be refunded while Ultimate Bet was fined $1.5 million.