Thursday May 31, 2012 : MEDIA CORP MANAGEMENT ABANDONS PURPLE LOUNGE POKER AND CASINO
Without directly communicating with its players, Media Corp puts wholly-owned subsidiary Purple Lounge into liquidation
In yet another shocking Purple Lounge development Thursday, the new executive management at parent group Media Corp plc, Adam Fraser-Harris and Phil Jackson, announced in a statement that they were consigning the failed online casino and poker enterprise to the corporate equivalent of the knacker's yard.
Despite repeated player requests for dialogue and information over the past few months , the decision to liquidate the company was taken without direct contact with players who have waited impatiently for payments since the site was shuttered over a month ago and prior to that.
"The Board regrets any corporate failings in the past and seeks to assure shareholders that it is exploring routes to try, in some way, to mitigate the expected player losses…" Fraser-Harris and Jackson comment in the company's statement, a reference that hardly redounds to the credit of Justin Drummond and Sara Vincent – the previous executive team which resigned only weeks ago.
Players are still no further informed on the Purple Lounge affair vis-a-vis the mandatory segregation of player funds required by the Malta regulator LGA for the protection of consumers.
The regulator has been equally silent, other than to belatedly reveal in April that the Purple Lounge licence had been terminated at the request of the company, and claim that at that time (as far as it was aware) there were no player complaints outstanding, and the enterprise had been in compliance with all regulatory requirements (which include segregation of player accounts).
The Media Corp statement reads:
"Following the acquisition of Intabet Limited, announced on 16 May 2012, Adam Fraser-Harris and Phil Jackson were appointed Interim CEO and Chairman respectively immediately following the departure of Justin Drummond (Previous Executive Chairman) and Sara Vincent (Previous MD of Purple Lounge and Interim CEO of Media Corporation). Since their appointment, Adam and Phil have been conducting a strategic and financial review of the enlarged Group.
"It has become clear during the review that the financial and trading position of the Purple Lounge division is no longer tenable due to historic operational and financial failings within the business. Accordingly, it is with regret that the Board announces that it has made all of the staff within that division redundant and will be instructing lawyers to file the relevant documentation to put the relevant companies into liquidation.
"The Board will specifically request that the appointed liquidators look into the financial arrangements within the Purple Lounge group of companies and to review the position as to player funds.
"The Board regrets any corporate failings in the past and seeks to assure shareholders that it is exploring routes to try, in some way, to mitigate the expected player losses, though this is against a background where the Group has loaned well over £1m to the division since its acquisition in October 2009. The Board does not believe that the Group will incur any further liabilities in respect of Purple Lounge over and above the realisation of the above loan.
"Notwithstanding the difficult decision it has made, the Board believes that it can put the poor trading of Purple Lounge behind it and will be working to bring the Group back to profitability, as quickly as possible.
"Further announcements will be made as and when appropriate."
Purple Lounge was wholly owned by Media Corp, a publicly listed company on London's AIM exchange
The comment of one stunned player is probably echoed by many others:
"This is unbelievable. If a publicly traded company's site isn't safe, I don't know what is."