Since Black Friday Full Tilt Poker has been constantly in the news – and none of it has been good. Former Full Tilt players who have not been able to cash out are outraged; the silence of Full Tilt and its pros is maddening and speculation that the company is for sale has been swirling for weeks. In light of this, it should come as no surprise to the poker world that Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has suspended the license of Full Tilt Poker.
In a move that most online poker players believe is more than justified, the AGCC ordered the site to suspend all operations, which caused all poker games on Full Tilt worldwide to suddenly coming to a screeching halt. Concerning shutdown, the AGCC released the following statement:
Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has today issued Hearing Notices under Regulation 46 of its Regulations to Vantage Ltd, Oxalic Ltd, Filco Ltd and Orinic Ltd, collectively trading as FULL TILT POKER. In addition, AGCC has issued Suspension Notices under Regulation 47 to the above named companies requiring them to suspend all operations with immediate effect. The decision to suspend these licenses follows a special investigation prompted by the indictments unsealed by U.S. Attorney General’s Office in the Southern District of New York on April 15, 2011, during which grounds were found to indicate that these licensees and their business associates were operating contrary to Alderney legislation. The nature of the findings necessitated the taking of immediate action in the public interest.
The venue and date for the hearing will be announced in due course.
André Wilsenach (Executive Director)
Alderney Gambling Control Commission
Date issued: 29th June 2011"
The AGCC also issued a separate statement saying:
|"The above-named companies must, until the Suspension Notices are cancelled or the Commissioners of AGCC have reached a determination at the conclusion of the hearing convened in accordance with Regulation 46 of the Alderney eGambling Regulations, 2009 cease to exercise their eGambling licenses, which means that these licensees must from today cease to:|
Register new customers;
Accept deposits from existing customers;
Allow existing customers to withdraw funds that are held in their accounts;
and Permit customers to participate in any form of poker game play or gambling transaction.
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission will hear the matters contained in the Hearing Notices at a Regulatory Hearing which will commence at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday 26th July, 2011 at the Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EQ. In the event that there is a change to these details this notice will be amended."
Executive Director of the AGCC, André Wilsenach, added: "The decision to suspend the eGambling license was in the public interest and, because of the seriousness and urgency of the matter; it required that immediate action be taken ahead of the regulatory hearing."
As of this writing, Full Tilt Poker has not released a statement, but players trying to log-in to the poker site are met with a banner proclaiming: “Scheduled Maintenance In Progress - The system is currently down for maintenance. Please check back soon!”
Upon learning of Full Tilt Poker having their license pulled, one of the largest online payment processors, Moneybookers, released the following statement to PokerNews:
|As a Moneybookers customer, you already know you are the most important part of our business. We always make sure you receive the safest service. For this reason we have stopped accepting deposits made to Full Tilt Poker. There are extraordinary circumstances behind this situation which are beyond our control. We will not comment on these, just take appropriate action that protects our customers. We have requested that the Moneybookers logo be removed from Full Tilt Poker, but cannot do any more to make sure it is not displayed. Moneybookers is no longer available from Full Tilt Poker, and you will receive an error message if you attempt to use our service there.|
For those poker players still hoping to receive the funds they had on deposit with Full Tilt, unfortunately it appears that the chances of recovering their funds are slim and none. Leaving thousands of former Full Tilt players all asking the same question; “What did Full Tilt do with our money – which was supposed to be in a separate account?” So far the only response from Full Tilt Poker is silence.
Image from the series "Cards of Life and Death."