Players waiting for refunds following the cheating scandals at UltimateBet and Absolute Poker should see a renewed surge of payments following the settlement this week which saw the Excapsa liquidators agree to pay $15 million to Blast Off Limited, to which it sold the sites and the flawed poker software behind them.
Towards the end of the week Tokwiro Enterprises, the owner of the two sites caught up in the cheating debacle, issued a statement confirming the settlement…and interestingly reserved the right to pursue any individual or individuals implicated in the fraud. Industry observers see that as a possible reference to former WSOP champion Russ Hamilton, a former affiliate marketing executive of the company who was named in an independent enquiry into the issue.
The deal requires that Blast Off Limited, a company closely associated with Tokwiro, will resume paying purchase price instalments on the websites to the Excapsa liquidators in return for $15 million. This is to be used principally to refund players caught up in the long-running fraud and pay the hefty $1.5 million fine levied on UltimateBet by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. The settlement was approved and made an order of the Ontario Superior Court by Justice Sarah Pepall earlier this week.
Since refunds began on the orders of the KGC, some $6.1 million has been paid out by UltimateBet.
Tokwiro's Chief Operating Officer, Paul Leggett comments in the statement from the company: "We are pleased that we have finally agreed to a settlement with the previous owners of UltimateBet, and we are happy to announce the completion of the final refunds to players."
"Together with our regulatory body, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, we have fought long and hard to hold those responsible accountable for the fraud, to refund players, and to ensure this can never happen again," the Tokwiro executive said, adding that the settlement finalised the company's claims against Excapsa and "….brings us significantly forward in our search for justice in the aftermath of the cheating scandal."
Leggett was part of a new Tokwiro management team brought in earlier this year, and is believed to be one of the principal architects behind its plan to create an online poker mega-company branded Cereus and comprised of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker.