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Old 02-22-2016, 01:00 PM   #1
Monorail
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Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" gaming

Hot on the heels of news that Greg Pierson and Iovation were awarded licenses to operate in NV, comes the news that The Borgata is replacing bwin.party as their online poker provider in NJ with...[drumroll] Pala Interactive:
CEO: Jim Ryan
Chief Technical Officer: Uri Kozai.

If those names sound familiar, it's because they were at the epicenter of the UB scandal. To recap:
i) Pierson: "was the CEO of UB in 2008. He was also the co-founder of the company that created the software and the hole in the wall that allowed Hamilton to cheat so expansively. There is no direct evidence proving Pierson used the ‘God Mode,’ however, there is audio evidence of him discussing ways they could minimise the damage, including strategies on how they could pay as little as possible to the cheated." Source.
ii) Ryan: "Ryan has never been directly connected to the cheating that took place at Ultimate Bet, but secretly recorded audiotapes were released where the conspirators talked about Ryan possibly having knowledge of the events after the fact, and it’s these tapes (and the fact that insider cheating did occur on his watch) that his critics have pointed to – it should be noted that these tapes do not prove (keyword: prove) Ryan had knowledge of the cheating after the fact, and are simply hearsay." Source.
iii) Kozai: "It was Kozai’s algorithm that was used to create a formula for refunding cheated UB players, using a system that very likely under-refunded cheated players by some unknown percentage. The actual amount of cheating that Kozai calculated was redacted from the related Canadian court documents. Even more interesting is that Kozai has been alleged to possess a complete, pre-merger copy of the UB customer database, including player records that were possibly deleted later on in an attempt to cover up the full extent of the cheating. Kozai has steadfastly refused to come forward with his knowledge of how the UB cheating took place." Source.

Note that Pala Interactive was granted a license to operate in NJ back in 2014 (comments from Rebuck on that controversial decision here), but they abandoned their plan for a site in NJ a year ago. But now they're being adopted as the poker platform for NJ's highest-traffic online poker room. For all of NV's and NJ's talk about being the most highly-regulated, transparent gaming jurisdictions in the world, they're awfully tolerant of executives with questionable pasts.
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:31 PM   #2
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

On the plus side, Jim Ryan is such a horrendously incompetent corporate executive that he'll likely end up costing the Borg tens of millions of dollars through this expanded association. Look at Ryan's co-stewardship of bwin.party for a prime example of his mad skillz. The only thing that Ryan is indeed good at is sweet-talking his way into spending other people's money.
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:47 PM   #3
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Gross.
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:50 PM   #4
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

I really need OPReport to write something explaining how this happens
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:55 PM   #5
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Lol the American online poker scene.

In before Russ Hamilton is announced as ambassador for poker at the borgata
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:42 PM   #6
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Here's what the DGE said to Ryan back when Pala got initial approval in Nov 2014:

http://www.nj.gov/lps/ge/docs/Opinions/112014_Pala.pdf

They did launch in NJ - casino only - and have been active for a year or so. They operate under the Borgata's IGP.

How it happens is: regulators look at a fair bit of material (see the DGE's AYA report) and asses whether there's sufficient evidence to determine that the individual / entity poses a threat to the integrity, reputation, etc of gaming in their state.

I know that answer sounds flip, and there will definitely be people who think something more nefarious is at work. But that's the process as regulators present it. Based on those I know who have gone through it, that's the process as applicants experience it.

I'm certainly not going to pretend that gaming regulators live in a city on the hill; gaming agencies are subject to many of the bureaucratic pressures and constraints any gov't agency is under and are definitely fallible.

The legacy of UB is a series of interlocking clusterf*@&s. I've seen Scott's film, read Haley's reporting, listened to the tapes, etc and I often feel like I only know a small part of the story (and I'm not 100% on the part that I even know).

What I do know is that precious little of the story was ever adjudicated in a court, which likely complicates things for regulators.

What I also know is that quite a few people made quite a bit of money in and around UB (varying amounts and varying degrees of separation), and the chance of any significant number of them being called to answer for that is pretty low. That's not really germane to this decision and is more a depressing reminder that there's plenty of s*#t sandwich to go around on this one.
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

dude runs poker site

dude cheats players and steals millions of dollars from customers

dude gets in trouble, can no longer run poker site.

Few years later....

dude runs poker site
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:56 PM   #8
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Quote:
Originally Posted by OPReport View Post
How it happens is: regulators look at a fair bit of material (see the DGE's AYA report) and asses whether there's sufficient evidence to determine that the individual / entity poses a threat to the integrity, reputation, etc of gaming in their state.
...
What I do know is that precious little of the story was ever adjudicated in a court, which likely complicates things for regulators.
What doesn't jive for me is that I've read many of the DGE's decisions in which they deny / revoke licensure of various people and entities (there's plenty to find linked to from the semi-monthly DGE actions PDFs). And it really seems to me like they don't F around when it comes to cooperation. An adverse adjudication in a court of law may be a kiss of death for an applicant, but is hardly the required threshold for getting denied by a gaming regulator. When they ask you to produce something, you have to do it, and they don't take very kindly to responses of "I don't remember" or "Sorry, I can't find those docs".

In short: in examining previous DGE decisions, they've never shied away from placing the burden of proof squarely on the petitioner. Particularly in cases where a person's history is spotty. Given the toxicity of UB, I'd have expected Rebuck/DGE to require a heightened showing from anyone associated with it. Instead, it seems like they're being even less stringent than the standards to which they've held others in the past.
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Old 02-22-2016, 04:50 PM   #9
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Wish I knew what it was like to be a member of the good old boys club.

These people shouldn't be given a license to run a lemonade stand ffs.

Last edited by wheatrich; 02-22-2016 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 02-22-2016, 04:59 PM   #10
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

I think it apropos to quote Ace Rothstein here:

"Back home, they would have put me in jail for what I'm doing. Here, they're giving me awards."
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monorail View Post
What doesn't jive for me is that I've read many of the DGE's decisions in which they deny / revoke licensure of various people and entities (there's plenty to find linked to from the semi-monthly DGE actions PDFs). And it really seems to me like they don't F around when it comes to cooperation. An adverse adjudication in a court of law may be a kiss of death for an applicant, but is hardly the required threshold for getting denied by a gaming regulator. When they ask you to produce something, you have to do it, and they don't take very kindly to responses of "I don't remember" or "Sorry, I can't find those docs".

In short: in examining previous DGE decisions, they've never shied away from placing the burden of proof squarely on the petitioner. Particularly in cases where a person's history is spotty. Given the toxicity of UB, I'd have expected Rebuck/DGE to require a heightened showing from anyone associated with it. Instead, it seems like they're being even less stringent than the standards to which they've held others in the past.
I agree with all of this except "it seems like they're being even less stringent than the standards to which they've held others in the past."

We don't know what the DGE asked Ryan and we don't know how he responded. We do know the DGE was aware of the UB backdrop and there's certainly no shortage of material around the issue. We also know that the number of direct connections are an open question, whereas with some others involved it's not really a question.

Here's the thing: if you accept the premise of the above (the DGE usually holds feet to fire) then you're left with two worlds:

1. They did that this time and there wasn't an actionable issue that emerged from the process.

2. They didn't do that this time because [insert explanation].

I can't speak for the DGE or defend their decision because I don't know how they made it. I put a fair amount of trust in regulators in NV and NJ (some will believe this to be naive) while acknowledging that they are human and subject to numerous pressures. I am unclear on what the superior alternative would be.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:08 PM   #12
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

I think I just threw up a little . . . what a ****ing embarrassment , if that doesn't show you how corrupt the investigating agencies in the US are , idk what will. **** our lives basically. Sigh
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:30 PM   #13
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Lets not forget the burden that lies with Boyd Gaming et all, the owners of the site. They need to be publicly called out and shamed for knowingly hiring sketchy and downright criminal employees and contractors.
Boyd gaming, and the Boyd family need to feel their reputation is at stake.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:10 PM   #14
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

I suppose there is a chance we will see a variant of the UB software live in New Jersey before PokerStars.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:46 PM   #15
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Super using, money laundering, fraud and now the culprits are welcomed to regulated markets with open arms.

Is this not a worthy concern of Sheldon Adelson? Damn if you do damn if you don't.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:54 PM   #16
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drrr.Gonzo View Post
Super using, money laundering, fraud and now the culprits are welcomed to regulated markets with open arms.

Is this not a worthy concern of Sheldon Adelson? Damn if you do damn if you don't.
I've seen little in the way of industry knowledge come out of that lobbyist group. It is mostly sensationalist noise but if they have anyone observant that picks it up I think this topic fits their agenda perfectly.

I just looked at the CSIG website and it has not posted a news story since November. The last tweet was six weeks ago. Maybe they are in hiatus since the cause looks hopeless for them.
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:43 PM   #17
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

skyisfalling.jpg/lol
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:19 PM   #18
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Mr Pierson, did you approve creation of an "auditing" tool for which the only legitimate use was cheating?

No, I later learned that senior personnel on the technical team did so without my knowledge or approval. None of them have worked for me in over 10 years.

Mr. Pierson, did you discuss with Hamilton and others a remuneration process in 2008 to purposely under-remit player refunds?

No, I heard those tapes and though it sounds a little like me, I never met with those individuals, nor did I have any of those conversations.

--
We recognize the above as lies, but there is nothing to truly refute his answers. Evidence is circumstantial, tainted or uncertain. The individuals best positioned to provide a rebuttal are conflicted and/or reputationally challenged. In some cases, he still holds power over stock holdings and future payouts.

When I wrote the film, I made sure that all statements were quite pointed knowing they could bring legal action. The holecard being a legal discovery process that would finally force him to choose between committing perjury and truth telling. Of course, though C&Ds were filed, no legal action was ever mounted.

The only chance is to make things they touch toxic but that requires consistent player alignment and very few of the marquee players will speak up about this case based on friendships and their own corporate deals. They blame Hamilton but he didn't end up with money. Hellmuth, Pierson, Dehaan, Cunningham, Ryan and Kozai did.
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:43 AM   #19
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Pretty good dark comedy. My gov passes a bill to protect me form shady overseas sites then...yeah...
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:06 AM   #20
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Where is my 20k I am owed from UB? This guy needs to spend time in jail but instead hes allowed to run another site... lol mind blown
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:11 AM   #21
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Welcome back guys.

I am glad USA#1 has segregated player pools and therefor sites.

GL and all the best
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:20 AM   #22
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

wow this is scary
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Old 02-23-2016, 02:22 AM   #23
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

JFC

This cant be real, somebody over there do something please
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:02 AM   #24
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

I believe "slither" is the word you were intending.
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:38 PM   #25
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Re: Welcome Back Kozai (+Jim Ryan): More UltimateBet execs slinking back into US "regulated" ga

Any chance brainwashdodo tells us more information about UB after 8 years?
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