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  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission Shuts down the CEREUS Network

    Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by Nadia

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission recently announced that it will be dissolving the CEREUS Network and its two offshoots, UB.com and Absolute Poker. The shut down will be due to ongoing legal action being pursued against the company. After the announcement, the KGC proceeded to discuss the ramifications it is facing due to the Southern District of NY’s legal actions.

The KGC said that it had been in regular talks with the licensee for UB.com and Absolute Poker and Blanca Games. Inc. It plans to reimburse all players, both in the U.S and abroad.

What KGC Plans to do

The discussions that the KGC has been participating in have been ongoing and have led up to the decision to disband the CEREUS network. KGC stated that it had been advised of the potential solution to its problems by Blanca and its executives. KGC is now finalizing a method by which Blanca’s assets can be liquidated and distributed amongst its players. This has been presented as a proposal to SDNY for approval.

KGC did not elaborate on the subject of the negotiations. The organization’s statement concludes with assurances towards players. KGC said that its foremost concern was to reimburse players as quickly and fully as possible to avoid any problems that players may face.

Problems Blanca could face

The main question that has arisen is regarding the assets Blanca Games could part with. It is in possession of software that its two poker rooms operate on. This software also links the two rooms. Its database of players could be used to start a new online poker site or even supplement one that is currently operating. It is believed that these parts of the company could bring in anything from $10 million to $125 million if put up for sale.

The $125 million estimate could potentially help Blanca narrowly escape financial ruin as well as liabilities which the company owes former players. However, it will not cover what the U.S Department of Justice is demanding. The amount that it owes players is estimated at around $50 million. Its indictment demands $500 million in penalties, a staggering amount, despite being much less than the amount demanded from Full Tilt Poker ($1 billion) and PokerStars ($1.5 billion).

If KGC’s statement proves true, it could end all the payments of the former CEREUS network players. However, it would also bring to an end one of the major players in the online poker scene.

In the Past

Before 2007, UB.com (Ultimate Bet) and Absolute Poker were the two major players on the online poker circuit. Unfortunately, the ‘Superuser Scandal’ broke at both companies. This refers to a situation when the owners of the companies used software to manipulate their games by allowing them to see the hole cards their opponents held. Though both companies paid millions of dollars in restitution, they were never able to return to their previous heights of success.

The liquidation of the network still has many obstacles to overcome. Firstly, it must be approved by the U.S Government and secondly, a buyer for the company’s holdings has yet to be found.

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