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Alderney Revokes Full Tilt Poker Licenses

by Robin Pilgrim, LawAndTax-News.com, London

03 October 2011


The Alderney Gambling Control Commission revoked the licenses of the companies operating as Full Tilt Poker with immediate effect on September 29, 2011, after it was confirmed at a tribunal that the poker provider had contravened several rules and fabricated information regarding the company's financial situation to mislead the regulator.

The announcement was made following a tribunal held following the earlier suspension of the licenses of Vantage Limited, Filco Limited and Oxalic Limited, trading as Full Tilt Poker, on June 29, 2011, after US prosecutors initiated legal proceedings against the company earlier this year.

US authorities allege that Full Tilt Poker, along with two other gambling operators, created sham payment-processing frameworks to unlawfully provide internet gambling services to the United States market.

Under the terms of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006, offshore operators are effectively blocked from access to the lucrative US internet gambling market. Specifically, the Act prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with unlawful internet gambling, including payments made through credit cards, electronic funds transfers, and checks.

At the tribunal, held in London over six days, the AGCC said it had emerged that FTP had fundamentally misled AGCC about their operational integrity by continuously reporting as liquid funds balances that had been covertly seized or restrained by US authorities, or that were otherwise not actually available to the operator.

The Commission reported that “serious breaches of AGCC regulations include false reporting, unauthorized provision of credit, and failure to report material events.”

The AGCC, still eager to allow a potential buyout of the company by outside investors, made the distinction that “the revocation of the company's license does not, as has been suggested, prevent a reactivation of the business under new ownership and management”.

“Unresolved claims by players against FTP become a matter for the police and civil authorities. Now that FTP’s licences have been revoked, AGCC no longer has jurisdiction over these companies,” the Commission continued.

The licence of Orinic Limited, a recently added geographic sub-division of the FTP poker room, remains suspended.

US authorities have recently also alleged that Full Tilt Poker operated as a global ponzi scheme, stating that players funds were severely mismanaged and that payments to company leaders are under investigation.

Due to the company's current financial state, and unaccountability of missing funds, it seems highly unlikely at this juncture that money deposited with the online poker provider by customers will be returned in full.

TAGS: business | law | international financial centres (IFC) | enforcement | offshore | internet | gambling | offshore e-gaming | Alderney | United States | standards | regulation | services

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