Full Tilt Hearing Postponed, Bodog Backs Out of US - Poker News
After weeks of buildup, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission held their public hearing on Tuesday regarding the suspension of Full Tilt Poker's license suspension.
A day of legal wrangling produced nothing except further hard feelings against Full Tilt as the hearing has now been adjourned until September 15th.
In related news, Bodog also announced today that it is leaving the US market at the end of 2011.
FTP Lawyers Angle for Privacy
As far as the Alderney hearing, Full Tilt's legal representative Martin Heslop made a motion to take the proceedings into private chambers at the very beginning of the trial.
Among his arguments, he stated that:
- Full Tilt's case with the US Department of Justice may be jeopardized by information being released in a public hearing.
- Sensitive information may be revealed during the trial that would negatively impact Full Tilt.
- A public hearing would be contrary to their interests and that a fair trial could not be delivered without prejudice.
The committee convened in private for most of the day, returned with some specific questions Full Tilt were required to answer and then made a decision that they would indeed move the trial to a private setting.
This decision was met with a negative reaction from those in attendance.
Among those was pro player Harry Demetriou, who stood up and asked "What about the interests of the players? Why you are protecting this corrupt company?" as he was leaving the courtroom.
FTP Owes £250,000 in Licensing Fees
The only real piece of news that came out of the hearing is the fact that Full Tilt has an outstanding bill with the AGCC for £250,000 in licensing payments.
During his motion to take the trial private, Heslop stated that the payments were not made because they assumed their license was no longer valid.
He also stated that they would pay within seven days if it means they could get their license back.
Several hours of deliberation between the AGCC and Full Tilt went on in private before an announcement was made that the hearing will be adjourned in the interest of justice and those of Full Tilt Poker.
The reason is so the company can pursue further negations with investors in the hopes of repaying players.
The AGCC stated that they will reconvene no later than September 15th.
What this essentially means is that Full Tilt's operations will remain suspended for at least another month and a half or more.
Also, as compncards speculated in an earlier blog, part of Full Tilt getting back their license appears to hinge on whether they can find investors to provide the cash flow to repay US players.
Bodog Out By 2012
In a related story, Bodog has announced plans to leave the US market effective the end of the year.
They are allowing their Morris Mohawk Gaming license to expire in favor of a license with the UK Gambling Commission.
According to a press release sent out by Bodog:
"..in order to ensure the brand's expansion is not affected by negative perceptions, both in the UK and elsewhere in emerging markets such as Asia, where Bodog88 is already successful, a decision has been made to withdraw the Bodog brand from the US market at the end of 2011."
US players will be able to move to a new site run by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group or take out their funds by the end of the year.
Bodog will continue to operate "business as usual for the rest of the year."