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Kahnawake Gaming Commission Addresses Absolute Poker & Ultimate Bet Settlement

Posted at 10:20 2012-08-09 by Chad Holloway

On Tuesday, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), a sovereign jurisdiction established in 1996 just outside Montreal, Quebec, Canada, released an Advisory Notice that addressed the declaration of support filed by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York supporting the government's proposed settlement between the government and Absolute Poker parties, including Ultimate Bet and Blanca Games, Inc.

According to the Stipulation and Order of Settlement with Respect to Absolute Poker, the group would forfeit all rights and properties to the United States while not admitting "culpability, liability, or guilt on behalf of the Absolute Poker Group.” In return, the civil money-laundering claims against Absolute and its companies would be dismissed with prejudice, with the exception of the civil money-laundering claims against Blue Water Services Ltd., Trust Services Ltd., SGS Systems Inc. and Fiducia Exchange Ltd.

Within the U.S. Department of Justice's press release regarding a settlement with PokerStars for Full Tilt Poker's assets, the DOJ touched on its motion requesting a settlement agreement with Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet. The agreement would require "the company to forfeit all its assets to fully resolve this action. The motion also requests that the government be permitted to liquidate the Absolute Assets, with the net proceeds of that sale to be held pending the resolution of claims filed by other parties who have asserted an ownership interest in the Absolute Assets.

The KGC, which had previously licensed Blanca Games, Inc., addressed the proposed settlement, explaining that the proceeds from the liquidated assets would not be distributed to players unless "there are Blanca assets remaining after the resolution of the claims by other parties."

Below is the KGC's Advisory Note in full:

(MOHAWK TERRITORY OF KAHNAWAKE- August 7, 2012) - The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) recently announced that he has reached a settlement of the civil proceedings that were initiated by the government on April 15, 2011 against Blanca Games, Inc. (“Blanca”) and related companies. He now seeks court approval of the settlement.

The proposed settlement requires all of Blanca’s assets to be forfeited to the United States. The US Marshalls’ office will be mandated to liquidate Blanca’s assets. However, there will be no distribution of the net proceeds from the liquidation pending the resolution of claims filed by other parties who have asserted an ownership interest in Blanca’s assets.

If the court approves the settlement, and if there are Blanca assets remaining after the resolution of the claims by other parties, it is anticipated that the court will provide a process for players to make claims against those assets. At present the Commission has no information as to how players should make such a claim. However, the general victim information number provided by the US Attorney in Manhattan is 1-866-874-8900.

Blanca operated the Absolute Poker and UB.com online gaming sites and was previously licensed by the Commission. Their Client Provider Authorization expired on June 2, 2012 and was not renewed. The Commission no longer regulates Blanca.

PokerNetwork reached out to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who declined to comment.

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