The popular CBS program 60 Minutes recently aired a segment about online poker entitled “The Cheaters”. The show focused on the UltimateBet and Absolute Poker cheating scandals where certain players could see other people’s poker hands. As expected, the controversial subject drew heated reactions from the online poker community.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) was one group which expressed their opinion on The Cheaters segment and they believe 60 Minutes left out several important facts during last Sunday’s show.

In their statement released Monday, the KGC pointed out that 60 Minutes failed to mention players got their money back saying,

“All players that were adversely affected by cheating were fully reimbursed. In the case of UB, these refunds amounted to over US $20,000,000. The reimbursement of UB players was affected within days after the Excapsa settlement. The KGC played a key role in facilitating and monitoring reimbursements.”

The KGC also wanted to set the record straight about legal action in the case and stated,

“Contrary to claims made in the 60 Minutes story, in addition to significant penalties levied under its Regulations, the KGC has initiated a criminal complaint against at least one cheater (Russ Hamilton) and is cooperating with law enforcement authorities. Other such complaints may follow.”

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) used the 60 Minutes segment to bolster their drive to get online poker regulations lifted; PPA Chairman Alfonse D’Amato’s statement contained the following excerpt:

“The recent cheating scandals underscore the need for U.S. licensing and regulation of online poker to help protect consumers. While even the most highly regulated industries are susceptible to fraud and abuse, regulation does provide assurances that when consumers are harmed they have recourse, and that the offenders will be sanctioned.”

D’Amato also took this chance to point out how strongly the American people feel about online poker stating,

“Regulation of Internet poker does not equal an expansion of gambling in this country. Like it or not, the phenomenon of Internet poker cannot be wished away. The American market has spoken. There is strong demand for Internet poker and no reasonable government can or should stand in the way of adults competing in games of skill on the Internet.”

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