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Ultimate Bet Cheating Scandal Revisited

Sunday February 21,2016 : IOVATION AND ULTIMATEBET POKER SCANDAL REVISITED (Update)
 
Another look at how recently Nevada-licensed Iovation is associated with online poker's biggest ever cheating scandal.
 
Last week's news that Greg Pierson's geolocation and verification company Iovation has been awarded a Nevada Gaming Commission licence  surprised many in the industry, and prompted investigative journalist Haley Hintze to revisit online poker's biggest yet cheating scandal.
 
Our  readers will perhaps recall that Hintze is something of an expert on the UltimateBet scandal, having conducted a comprehensive and professionally documented investigation of the affair over the years and exposed much of the background and the individuals involved.
 
In her weekend article Hintze publishes a Q&A interview she conducted with ielogic programmer Jack Bates, who was there when the orders to the programming staff to create the used-for-cheating tool came down through iovation’s (then known as ieLogic) management.
 
Bates did not personally program "God Mode" as the cheating program came to be known (internally it was titled “Stealth Observer”) but he was with the company at the time.
 
The interview is a long but interesting and in-depth study of the historical situation on how "God Mode" originated, made currently relevant by the award of Iovation's new Nevada licence and therefore well worth a full read.
 
Cliff notes include:
 
* The  programming of the original cheating tool and the ongoing maintenance took place Portland by ieLogic/iovation staffers;
 
* Programmer Brian Russ was the original coder tasked with creating the capability, and another programmer named Todd Bartleson did the necessary updates to maintain the facility;
 
* Hintze furnished the complete transcript of her original interview with Bates to the Nevada Gaming Commission three months ago, claiming that it shows the genesis of the cheating tool, and that UltimateBet was "absolutely, incontrovertible being operated from Portland, not Toronto."
 
* Prior to the creation of God Mode there was on the UltimateBet servers a capability for restricted personnel to examine log files, and even inspect live action;
 
* Access to those servers was strictly controlled and limited to Bates and three other senior employees: Daniel Cunningham, the company’s lead engineer and software designer, Chief Technical Officer Jason DeHaan and Brian Russ. Hintze notes that a fifth programmer, Scott Kirkowski may also have had access.  In the interview Bates details the authority and responsibilities of those with access;
 
* The plan to create a purpose-built cheating tool titled Stealth Observer was broached as a security-anti-cheating measure at an engineering meeting in early 2003 attended by Bates and a number of named colleagues in Portland. Bates and some of his colleagues were not in favour of the idea and said as much to DeHaan, but this was disregarded and the programming was carried out by Brian Russ, who was not involved in the subsequent cheating;
 
*  Bates gives a detailed technical description of the tool that emerged from this decision, noting that whenever a deal was done, that stealth observer could see all the hole cards at the table...and there were later additions;
 
*  Access to Stealth Observer was restricted to Bates and three other senior employees: Daniel Cunningham, the company’s lead engineer and software designer, Chief Technical Officer Jason DeHaan and Brian Russ, although Bates did not use his access. Later in the interview Bates includes another programmer, Todd Bartleson who may have had technical access to update the program;
 
* Bates makes the point that many of the technical employees at ielogic were not poker players and in many cases did not really understand what was happening in terms of poker action through the servers;
 
* Bates knew of emails concerning Stealth Observer that were copied to Russ Hamilton, a shareholder in the company who was subsequently named by a KGC investigation as the principal cheater using "God Mode". Bates said there were frequent management orders of facilities Hamilton wanted;
 
* Hintze has promised further detailed revelations in the near future.

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Gambling News :

Oryx in deal with Extreme Live Gaming - #oryx Turnkey provider ORYX has selected Extreme Live Gaming for the integration of a number of Live Casino titles to its games platform.

GAN Partners with Station Casinos - B2B online gaming company GAN (formerly Game Account Network) has revealed Station Casinos as its previously unidentified partner in an announcement made August 2016

Tipbet Sponsor of easy Credit Basketball Bundesliga for season 2016/2017 - #tipbet The agreement comes with good timing; the BBL basketball 2016/17 season started last Friday, ensuring that Tipbet benefits from high visibility for its brand presence at the games.

Oceanís Call Slot Launches - Online gambling games developer Habanero has embarked on a journey across the high seas to bring players its latest HTML5 high resolution slot title, Oceanís Call.

Big Names Playing WCOOP - The big names came out to play in the closing stages of the World Championship of Online Poker this week as major prizes were handed out in a number of exciting and entertaining competitions.

Should Gibraltar and Britain be regarded as a single state under EU gambling laws? - The issue has been referred to the ECJ by the High Court with the question "should the UK and Gibraltar be treated as a single member state when it comes to EU law on remote gambling?"

Sirplay to Open Argentina Branch - #SirPlay expects the new office to be fully operational by early next year, extending its service to Grupo Slots, which holds a license to operate the provincial San Luis Lottery, and other potential LatAm clients.

DFS Changes for Ohio - #dfs Coley says that at present DFS is an example of the "pools for profit" concept, the rules for which the state Attorney General has opined are unclear in relation to DFS.

New Jersey Teams Up With Kahnawake Gaming Commission - The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission have agreed to collaborate in preventing unlicensed online operators from accepting bets from New Jersey and other U.S. states through the Continent 8 data centre situated on tribal land, according to reports Tuesday from the Associated Press news agency.

Petition to Ban Online Gaming in Singapore - Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Clubís application to operate online betting has triggered the origination of a petition that calls on the Government to deny authorization and stop legalization of online gambling.

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