Full Tilt Hearing Set to Go Tuesday

Howard Lederer

Poker players anxiously awaiting the Alderney Gambling Control Commission’s decision on Full Tilt Poker’s future are nearing relief as the scheduled hearing is set to go this Tuesday, July 26.

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m at the Victoria Park Plaza Hotel in London and will be open to the public.

The primary purpose, accordiing to the original statement from the AGCC, is “to make public evidence from both AGCC and Full Tilt regarding the suspension of Full Tilt’s licence and to adjudicate the findings transparently.“

Full Tilt Poker's operating licence was suspended by the AGCC last month in the wake of the April 15 indictment of owner Ray Bitar by the United States Department of Justice.

The site continued to operate outside of the US post-April 15, but it subsequently “failed to satisfy" the AGCC that its business was in order and FTP's license was suspended, effectively shutting down all operations as of June 29.

Said the AGCC in its release that day:

"Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has today issued Hearing Notices under Regulation 46 of its Regulations to Vantage Ltd. Oxalic Ltd, Filco Ltd and Orinic Ltd, collectively trading as FULL TILT POKER.

“In addition, AGCC has issued Suspension Notices under Regulation 47 to the above named companies requiring them to suspend all operations with immediate effect.

“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 15th April 2011, during which grounds were found to indicate that these licensees and their business associates were operating contrary to Alderney legislation.

“The nature of the findings necessitated the taking of immediate action in the public interest.”

Millions of dollars in player funds (in addition to the original DOJ seizures) has since been in limbo and speculation about FTP’s future has spread liberally.

From Phil Ivey’s “White Knight” deal to an LA Times report about an impending sale to European investors to the more recent suggestion investors are only interested in FTP's UK and Irish assets, there's been no shortage of both hopeful and discouraging flutter.

Unfortunately very little of it has been substantiated by either fact or direct sources, save the LA Times report. 

The overarching theme on all sides, however, has been the need for immediate return of all player funds - an opinion also voiced by the Executive Director of the AGCC, André Wilsenach, in his original statement regarding the hearing:

“AGCC’s choice to hold a public hearing in regards to the future of Full Tilt Poker demonstrates our willingness to act transparently and we will welcome members of the public and the media. 

"As ever at all times, our primary concern is the protection of the player.”

Check back Tuesday for a full report from the hearing.

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