Last week, the United States Department of Justice amend its complaint, originally filed on April 15, 2011, by specifically naming Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Rafe Furst of Full Tilt Poker and likening Full Tilt Poker to a "Ponzi scheme." This week, the Full Tilt saga continued as the Alderney Gaming Control Commission (AGCC) released a statement announcing that it had revoked FTP's license.
In a separate report, a number of reasons were listed for the decision including that the "licensee’s current financial position and financial background, are no longer a fit and proper person to hold an eGambling license," and that the seizures by the DOJ are a "'serious incident' pursuant to 4(g) of the Regulations."
Reprinted below is the AGCC's statement in full:
AGCC Commissioners, sitting as a tribunal, have today revoked the licenses of Vantage Limited, Filco Limited and Oxalic Limited, trading as Full Tilt Poker (FTP), with immediate effect. This follows the earlier suspension of the licenses on 29th June 2011.
At a hearing held in London over six days, it 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. Serious breaches of AGCC regulations include false reporting, unauthorized provision of credit, and failure to report material events.
At the commencement of these proceedings on 26th July AGCC made clear its preference to hold the hearing in public, to the benefit of players and media alike. However, the tribunal was persuaded that the hearing should be held in camera on the basis of claims by FTP that this would maximize the chance of a commercial rescue of the business for the benefit of players. For this reason an adjournment of 54 days was allowed.
It is important to note that the revocation of FTP’s licenses 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 Now that FTP’s licenses have been revoked, AGCC no longer has jurisdiction over these companies.
The license of Orinic Limited, a recently added geographic sub-division of the FTP poker room, remains suspended.
The determination notice containing the decision of the Commissioners and reasons for it is available at GamblingControl.org.
Updated 9:30 a.m. PDT: After the announcement, PokerNews reached out to the AGCC, who declined comment.
Updated 11:54 a.m. PDT: Full Tilt Poker released a statement to PokerStrategy.com on Thursday afternoon regarding the Alderney Gambling Control Commission's revocation of its license.
Reprinted below is the statement in full:
AGCC DEALS A BLOW TO FULL TILT POKER PLAYERS AS ‘INVESTOR CLOSE TO A DEAL’ TESTIMONY IS DISREGARDED
On September 19, 2011, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission reconvened the private hearing originally held on July 26, 2011, regarding its suspension of Full Tilt Poker’s operating licenses.
During the hearing, Full Tilt Poker offered the testimony of an investor interested in acquiring the company. The interested investor testified before the Commission as to its advanced status of negotiations with the company and the terms and conditions of a potential purchase. Full Tilt Poker requested a 30-day adjournment of the hearing to allow for transition of the company to the new investment team.
Today, the Commission announced its decision to revoke three of the four Full Tilt Poker operating licenses, despite the weight of evidence presented at the hearing by Full Tilt Poker of investor interest in acquiring the company. The Commission’s decision to revoke Full Tilt Poker’s operating licenses makes it more difficult to execute the sale of the company and hence repay its players.
Throughout the last few months, Full Tilt Poker has been totally committed to ensuring repayment of its players in full — a commitment that it has expressed repeatedly to the Commission and the company believed that it was engaged in a collaborative effort with the Commission to repay its players.
Notwithstanding the potential damage done by the Commission and its disregard for our players, Full Tilt Poker remains committed to repaying its players in full and continues in active negotiations. A further statement will follow shortly.