Tokwiro Enterprises, the owner of controversial online poker sites Absolute Poker.com and UltimateBet.com, launched an innovative corporate communications exercise this week in the form of five inserts posted on the video-sharing website YouTube by one "KafkaCR." The inserts consist of interviews with ex-Parlay Entertainment manager and now Tokwiro COO Paul Leggett, covering commercial operations and the cheating scandals that have been so damaging to the two poker sites.
Although some information sites mistakenly headlined the interviews as a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation production, presumably on the strength of the interviewer, Susan Reisler, being a former CBC business presenter, it is in fact a Tokwiro Enterprises production put together by Documedia, as the end titles show.
One site described the interview as "candid" and headlined it as "Absolute Poker and UltimateBet Poker COO Paul Leggett sat down to speak with the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Company) to discuss his company's trying times over the past 10 months."
The interview leaves some unanswered questions, such as where a former Mohawk grand chief obtained the guarantees for the scores of millions of dollars required to purchase the two sites from Excapsa in 2006. Leggett claims in the interview that none of the original owners are currently involved in Tokwiro, and does not identify any other shareholders.
A rather uncomfortable looking (and that's a subjective view) Leggett does explain, however, why the main perpetrator of the cheating scandal, named by a subsequent KGC invesigation as former affiliate executive Russ Hamilton, has not been pursued criminally. Apparently the company's priority was to ensure that those adversely affected were reimbursed. By assisting the company in identifying prejudiced players, "the perpetrator" as Leggett refers to him, rendered valuable information, and in exchange was given "protection!"
Leggett says that this does not mean that the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which licenses the two poker sites, has its hands tied. The Commission is independent of any decisions made by Tokwiro and could file its own charges.
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