The future of Full Tilt Poker
appears to be in doubt this morning, as the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has issued an order for Full Tilt
to suspend all operations immediately.
"The decision to suspend these licenses follows a special investigation prompted by the indictments unsealed by US Attorney General's Office in the Southern District of New York on 15 April 2011, during which grounds were found to indicate that these licensees and their business associates were operating contrary to Alderney legislation," reads a press release from the AGCC. "The nature of the findings necessitated the taking of immediate action in the public interest."
All games at Full Tilt have screeched to a halt. A regulatory hearing on the matter will be held on July 26 in London. There is no indication that Full Tilt could reopen for business before that time.
The U.S. Department of Justice seized 76 bank accounts and the websites of the three largest online poker sites that allowed American players on April 15.
PokerStars paid more than $100 million back to Americans one month after the seizures, while Full Tilt appeared to be stalling in public statements issued through Internet poker message boards. Absolute Poker/UB.com players, who are also waiting to receive their money, have heard very little from the company in the weeks since the site confirmed that it had laid off nearly all of its employees.
Full Tilt was dealt a huge public relations blow a few weeks later when Phil Ivey, the site's highest profile celebrity player, announced that he would not play in any World Series of Poker events as a result of Full Tilt's inability to pay American players. As time progressed, some players outside of the U.S. started to complain on Internet message boards that withdrawals were slow, and at times, were never completed.
AGCC regulations require licensees to "at the request of a registered customer, remit funds standing to the credit of that customer as directed by the customer."
Reactions to the news were swift on Twitter. Full Tilt pro Tom 'durrrr' Dwan, who had earlier stated that he would pay $1 million of his own money to Full Tilt players if they were unable to recover the funds in their accounts, tweeted
"Some pretty objective ppl who's [sic] opinions I respect are worried now that FT can't payout or find a buyer. Me too more I think about it"
"I'm pretty sick about all this," he added a few minutes later. "Its [sic] ridiculous that players weren't paid weeks ago. I feel pretty sick to my stomach."
Rumors that Full Tilt was looking for an influx of cash from new investors had been running rampant, and Jack Binion was the focus of much speculation in that regard in recent days. This news, however, may cool Binion's (or any other investor's) enthusiasm.