Saturday February 20,2016 : IOVATION AWARDED A NEVADA CLASS 2 LICENCE (Update)
Controversial firm now able to offer cyber security, anti-fraud measures, and geolocation services to the Nevada online gaming market.
Despite controversy over the involvement of its CEO, Greg Pierson and the company itself in the UltimateBet cheating scandal several years ago Iovation has been awarded a Class 2 licence by the Nevada Gaming Commission on the recommendation of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The reportedly unanimous approval of a licence enables Iovation to offer cyber security, anti-fraud measures, and geolocation services to the Nevada online gaming market despite its controversial history.
Online media learning about the Iovation application last week were quick to reprise the 2008 online poker scandal, recalling that Iovation created software that had a capability (rather sensationally titled "God Mode" in subsequent reportage) that allowed individuals within UltimateBet to cheat online players out of $20 million dollars.
Pierson, at the time a co-founder and the CEO of UltimateBet, allegedly featured in a post-scandal taped discussion with UltimateBet shareholder Russ Hamilton – the man accused by regulators in a subsequent investigation of being the main beneficiary of the cheating – and other managers in which tactics to pay prejudiced players as little as possible were discussed, along with what amounted to admissions that the cheating had gone on for longer than the period uncovered by a player investigation, and involved more dishonest accounts than had been exposed.
The discussion also allegedly covered the possibility of pinning the cheating conduct on a junior rogue employee in order to hide Hamilton's involvement.
A Nevada Gaming Control Board official had been apprised of these events late last year during the course of his enquiries, it has been claimed.
The online information site Gambling Compliance secured an interview with an elated Pierson after the award of the licence, and was assured by him that Iovation spent a substantial amount of money on a previously failed and the currently successful licensing attempt, and that it had involved a very deep and comprehensive, year-long Nevada investigation into the company and its management.
The Nevada Gaming Commission has not yet published its report on the award of the licence, but Pierson apparently sees it as a vindication that he did nothing wrong. He commented to Gambling Compliance:
“My company wrote some software and that software was used to rob players. I wish that had not happened. I have had to talk about this nightmare so often that I have become kind of numb to it but hopefully it is now over,” he said.
The interview points out that there is no solid evidence implicating Pierson in the actual UltimateBet cheating activity, but less charitable opinions are that the Iovation chief executive, supposedly an internet and software security expert, presided over a situation in which his company created a cheating product that was used to prejudice players on a site which he managed.
Gambling Compliance has promised to publish the full Pierson interview next week, which will be read with interest by many players and industry observers.