Full Tilt's License Revocation - First Steps or the Final Straw?
I got up this morning and one of my clients asked me to write an article based on a link they sent me. It was not 2011 WSOP related, which was actually a welcome change.
In case you are that guy living under the rock in the Geico commercial, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission has temporarily suspended Full Tilt Poker's license to operate its online poker room.
I then did a little digging and actually looked at the AGCC's eGambling Regulations, 2009 and their Ordinance.
Under Regulation 47 it states that the Executive Director can suspend a license if he feels that a sites' continued operation will hurt public interest or even harm the AGCC in any way.
Looking at section 12(1) of the Ordinance, things could get interesting in next month's hearing. It states that "The Commission may take action under this section where -
(a) an eGambling licensee or certificate holder is no longer a fit and proper person to hold the eGambling license or certificate in question;
(b) an associate of an eGambling licensee or a certificate holder is not, or is no longer, a fit and proper person to be associated with the operation of the licensee or certificate holder;
(c) an eGambling licensee or a certificate holder has contravened
(i) a provision of this Ordinance or of regulations made under this Ordinance; or
(ii) a condition attached to the eGambling license or certificate in question; or
(d) a Temporary eGambling licensee is no longer licensed or properly licensed in another jurisdiction to conduct eGambling operations"
Going back to Regulation 47, it is clear that the public interest of American players is clearly being hurt by each day that Full Tilt is not paying back funds or even outlining some type of plan to do so.
Next, there have been scattered reports of other players having problems getting funds in other countries.
Next, the AGCC has to consider whether Full Tilt's actions in America will cause them harm once online poker sites are legalized in the United States.
The fact that they granted them a license could be a point of contention for future lawmakers.
Their continued association with Full Tilt could put them at risk of not being able to service clients that want to service the U.S. once laws are passed.
Looking at the Ordinance, an argument can be made that since Full Tilt woefully and blatantly violated U.S. laws, they are no longer fit to have a license.
While Full Tilt is complying with the DOJ at present, that may be too little, too late.
Right now, I would say that it is 50-50 whether the AGCC reinstates Full Tilt's license. For those of you wondering whether you will get your money back, I honestly am beginning to lean against it.
I have always said that Full Tilt will "eventually pay." However, most of you will remember that I said it would be around 6 months before they pay.
If they lose their license, I say that chance drops to about 20% as I have a hard time seeing people line up to back a company that is in hot water with the U.S. DOJ and has had its license suspended.
With that said, if Full Tilt pulls a rabbit out their ass and keeps its license, I say the odds increase to about 80% or better as I suspect a condition of keeping that license will be some type of plan laid out to pay back U.S. players.
If that happens, this suspension may be in the best interest of players, and let's hope I am right on that one.
It should be an interesting month ahead. This could turn out to be one of the final nails in the coffin for Full Tilt, or the first step to payouts for U.S. players.
Anyone willing to put prop bets on this one?