Gambling regulators in Nevada are investigating the relationship between Ultimate Poker, the first licensed online poker room in the US, which is barely two weeks old, and Iovation, a provider of player verification solutions.
A. G. Burnett, chairman of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, said in an email that gambling regulators are now working with Ultimate Poker officials. Station Casinos Incorporated has a major share in this US online poker brand.
Ultimate Gaming, Ultimate Poker’s parent company, issued a public statement, in which it announced that it has stopped doing business with Iovation Incorporated, a company that was involved in the Ultimate Bet cheating scandal of 2008. Ultimate Poker, however, is in no way related to Ultimate Bet, a now defunct online poker room.
According to Burnett, Iovation does not have a Nevada license, but CAMS, a service provider licensed in Nevada, has used its services. Burnett said: “This is in the category of where the ultimate responsibility rests upon the licensee (Ultimate Gaming), and I know that they are addressing the issue. We, in turn, will analyze what we received back from Ultimate, and then decide how to proceed from here.”
QuadJacks.com and PokerNewsDaily.com have reported that Ultimate Bet had used Iovation software to view opponent’s hole cards and cheat them of large sums of money. These poker news portals have also reported that poker players are not comfortable with Iovation as it was once associated with Ultimate Bet and had begun sending one another warning messages in forums and chat rooms.
Recently, Ultimate Poker had announced that it is no longer associated with Iovation because poker players had raised concerns over its one-time association with Ultimate Bet. An Ultimate Poker representative had posted on Two Plus Two forum that “as of late Thursday night, May 9th, Ultimate Poker discontinued the use of all services from iovation.” The statement further read: “We understand that there were concerns among some of our customers, we hope this makes our players feel more comfortable.”
CAMS/Verfi, a Nevada-licensed service provider, had contracted Iovation to provide anti-fraud and player verification software to Ultimate Poker. Ultimate Bet founder Greg Pierson is the current chief executive officer of Iovation. He was involved in the Ultimate Bet cheating scandal of 2008, in which Ultimate Bet players were cheated of more than $20 million by Ultimate Bet insiders who used software that enabled them to view their opponents’ hole cards.