Sunday August 7,2011 : Online poker operator pays GBP250 000 in outstanding licence fees
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission has confirmed that the embattled online poker operator Full Tilt Poker has paid outstanding licence fees totaling GBP250 000, and that the company's licence will be considered valid until the next hearing.
In a notification late Friday, the AGCC reminded interested parties of the events of Black Friday in April of this year, noting that individuals associated with Full Tilt Poker had been involved in allegations of bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offences.
"The AGCC, which licenses FTP, began immediate discussions with FTP’s management in order to protect the interests of players," the statement notes.
It adds that following AGCC investigations the relevant licenses for FTP were suspended on June 29, and that in addition the Commission had imposed a requirement that the licensees comprising FTP must arrange for the ring-fencing of identified players’ funds under their control.
This aspect of safeguarding player deposits has been the subject of heated discussion, as Full Tilt has yet to pay its players, and the rival Isle of Man jurisdiction has drawn attention to its more stringent demands that its licensees ring-fence player funds.
The new AGCC statement recalls the events of July 26, when its public hearing on the Full Tilt case controversially excluded the public by holding private exchanges between the parties involved and then adjourning until a date "no later than September 15” to allow Full Tilt to pursue its negotiations with potential investors, which the Commissioners felt was in the best interests of the players.
However, the most interesting part of the statement comes next, where the AGCC reveals that the GBP250 000 in outstanding licence fees mentioned in the preliminary stage of the July 26 hearing has now been paid:
"The recent payment of overdue licence fees by FTP is also in players’ best interests since it allows commercial negotiations to take place that might result in a successful refinancing deal.
"Further details regarding the exact date and venue of the next hearing will be announced as soon as possible."
The AGCC has since confirmed that Full Tilt Poker’s licence will be considered valid until the next hearing.
Having valid licensing will be a positive card for Full Tilt to play in its exchanges with a reportedly European group of investors. The negotiations have been ongoing for several weeks now, and the consensus is that the fresh capital it could bring to the company is necessary to get players paid.
Earlier this month the Kahnawake Gaming Commission confirmed that it has renewed FTP's secondary gaming licence.