Saturday May 26, 2012 : DID MEDIA CORP FURNISH TIMELY DATA TO REGULATOR IN ONLINE CASINO DEBACLE?
New management remains silent as speculation continues
More than two weeks after taking control of Purple Lounge parent Media Corp, the new management of the publicly listed company has still to communicate its intentions to players and when they can expect payment.
Purple Lounge abruptly suspended operations in April without giving an explanation or advising players on withdrawal facilities, and asked its regulator, the LGA in Malta, to terminate its licence.
The chairman and the chief executive of the company, Justin Drummond and Sara Vincent respectively, subsequently resigned, leaving new management in charge.
In the absence of meaningful information from either the company or the LGA, players took to researching the possibilities themselves this week, alleging that:
* LGA requirements include a provision that operators must at application stage identify which bank account has been designated for the segregation of player funds;
* Operators must also provide a official letter from the bank holding the account, declaring that the account has been ring-fenced against any action/s the company might suffer from creditors, and in some cases the LGA may request that it is listed as beneficiary so that in the worst case scenario, the LGA could settle the players itself.
* Once the operator has gone live, the Key Official (KO) – the responsible local director of the operation – must on a monthly basis file a report listing all the balances, with the total of such tallying with the amounts held in the ring-fenced bank account (plus the funds held by processors for clearing);
* Every six months the operator is required to file management accounts, and every year said operator has to file audited accounts
However, it is claimed that these requirements depend largely on the diligence and integrity of the operator and the relevant Key Official in making timely and accurate submissions to the regulator…and there are allegations that the regulator does little to check or supervise these reports.
Players investigating the Purple Lounge affair also claim that Media Corp-Purple Lounge and/or its Key Official – reportedly a prominent Malta lawyer who resigned his PL duties before the company requested termination of its licence – was less than timely or diligent in filing the required reports.
They claim that the last audited financial report submitted by the company is dated Q4 2011 but is for the financial year ending 2008.
The LGA can impose administrative fines in instances of non-compliance, and it is not known whether this was felt necessary or done, but the company's licensing appears to have remained intact up until its own request that it be terminated.
In a belated notice a month after the termination, the regulator has indicated that at the time of the termination there were no outstanding complaints or non-compliances against Purple Lounge-Media Corp. This appears to be at odds with the current player allegations.
The regulator has also indicated that it will not be able to assist players with complaints submitted post-termination.