Full Tilt Poker's lawyers and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission have so far argued about licensing payments and making the meeting private, but not about player funds.
The much anticipated hearing set by the AGCC regarding Full Tilt Poker's license suspension started with a one-hour delay at 11 a.m. (CET), and was soon interrupted again by request of the FTP legal representatives.
In short, Full Tilt Poker's lawyer, Martin Heslop, immediately asked for a private hearing.
Heslop argued that Full Tilt's case has "commercially sensitive information" that could affect ongoing deal negotiations and could also have a "damaging effect" on customers if released to the public.
At the time there were about 150 people present, with around 50 of them media.
The Alderney Commission originally disagreed and presented their case to continue the hearing.
The key issue for the AGCC is that Full Tilt owes $400,000 in outstanding license fees and its main charge is to get this money back.
This money had been due for some time and has nothing to do with payouts to players.
FTP agreed to pay the money within seven days under two conditions:
1. The hearing will be adjourned and later held "in-camera."
2. AGCC considers the possibility of reinstating Full Tilt Poker's license.
This lead most observers to believe the AGCC did not suspend Full Tilt’s license because of the company’s "failure to satisfy" its affairs were in order and to support player payouts, as expressed in the AGCC's original statement, but only to get the money that Full Tilt failed to pay in licensing fees.
Heslop argued that FTP does not see any reason to pay its licensing arrears to the AGCC if they don’t see the chance to get their license back.
The AGCC replied that without the payment Full Tilt will not get their license back at all.
There was a short break, all members of the public were asked to leave, and the board carried on a lengthy discussion in private about the adjournment of the hearing.
At the original time of writing (11:00 a.m. ET), the private meeting was still ongoing with three possible outcomes:
- The hearing stays public and will be carried on with later today
- The hearing will be carried on in camera
- The hearing is postponed.
In the final case it is expected to be about 2-4 weeks before the hearing resumes.
In the meantime, bwin.party shares rose by 4% today.
UPDATE: After deliberating for most of the day, the AGCC reconvened the hearing shortly before 6 p.m. (GMT) and determined that, in the best interests of Full Tilt customers, the hearing will be adjourned until Sept. 15, 2011, at the latest.
The reasoning given was so Full Tilt can continue its negotiations with possible investors.
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