The Kahnawake Gaming Commission announced today that it has formed an “Independent Monitoring Team” tasked with completing “a full forensic audit/investigation of the online gaming business” of both UltimateBet and Absolute Poker. The two scandal-ridden sites are operated by Tokwiro Enterprises, which is owned by former Kahnawake chief Joe Tokwiro Norton. Norton also founded Mohawk Internet Technologies, the so-called “utility” company that makes online poker possible in North America.
The IMT will be headed by Frank Catania (pictured), a former Assistant Attorney General and Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Catania has been a longtime advocate for the regulation of online gaming and has spoken before Congress on the issue. Catania currently serves on the board of a number of gaming related businesses and has his own consulting business.
According to the release, which was signed by the KGC’s senior adviser Murray Marshall, the IMT will be empowered “to have full access to interview all employees, past or present, review all records, contact and interview all sub contractors and individuals whom the monitoring team believes necessary.”
Of course the KGC has no power to compel any past employee to make themselves avail for such interview so good luck with that.
The KGC goes on further to say that “[i]n the event that any criminal activity is found to have occurred, such activity will be reported to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution.”
We had the chance to ask Marshall this afternoon when he thinks this could take place and he offered the below video response.
Marshall’s complete statement on behalf of the KGE after the jump . . .
KAHNAWAKE GAMING COMMISSION
APPOINTS INDEPENDENT MONITORING-INVESTIGATION TEAM
Effective immediately, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) has appointed an independent monitor, led by former New Jersey State Gaming Regulator, Frank Catania, to investigate the KGC Licensee, Tokwiro Ent., parent company of both Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.
Mr. Catania is a former Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), the regulatory and enforcement agency responsible for maintaining integrity and trust in all Atlantic City gaming operations. As division director, he was a driving force in updating the New Jersey Casino Control Act by fine tuning the balance between regulatory necessity and economic stewardship. After leaving the DGE, he served as the vice president in charge of compliance for Players International, Inc. where he was instrumental in resolving compliance issues the company had encountered in the State of Louisiana, prior to his appointment. He is a principal in Catania Gaming Consultants and the Law Offices of Catania & Associates LLC
The Independent Monitoring Team will be given the task of completing a full forensic audit/investigation of the online gaming business of both licensed entities. The main purpose of the investigation is to ensure that the games offered to the public are fair and honest and that all player protections as required by the Kahnawake Gaming Regulations are being complied with, without exception. The monitoring team will also be charged with verification that all those involved in the fraudulent activities in any manner, no matter how slight, have been or are removed from the licensee company and verify that Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker have submitted to full compliance with the directives issued by the KGC and recommended by the independent monitor.
Furthermore, Mr. Catania’s team will be empowered by the KGC to have full access to interview all employees, past or present, review all records, contact and interview all sub contractors and individuals whom the monitoring team believes necessary. Any failure by the licensees could result in immediate revocation of their license privileges with the KGC. In the event that any criminal activity is found to have occurred, such activity will be reported to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution.
KGC License Holder, Tokwiro Enterprises has agreed to comply fully and submit to this independent monitor.
KGC Chairman, Dean Montour adds, “While the ongoing investigative process has dominated the attention of the KGC in recent months, we are fully confident in the ability of the Independent Monitoring Team to deliver results and assist the Commission in bringing this matter to a decisive conclusion.”
As per the terms of the monitoring agreement, and at the conclusion of the process, the KGC will review the report of the monitoring team and enter the results into their final considerations at the time of ruling in the Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker investigations.
Kahnawake Gaming Commission