In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the poker world learned that the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) suspended the license of Full Tilt Poker and ordered the site to suspend all operations. According to preliminary reports, games on Full Tilt worldwide came to a sudden halt.
The AGCC released the following statement on the matter:
"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.
The venue and date for the hearing will be announced in due course.
André Wilsenach (Executive Director)
Alderney Gambling Control Commission
Date issued: 29th June 2011"
In a separate statement, the AGCC added:
"The above named companies must, until the Suspension Notices are cancelled or the Commissioners of AGCC have reached a determination at the conclusion of the hearing convened in accordance with Regulation 46 of the Alderney eGambling Regulations, 2009 cease to exercise their eGambling licenses, which means that these licensees must from today cease to:
- Register new customers;
- Accept deposits from existing customers;
- Allow existing customers to withdraw funds that are held in their accounts; and
- Permit customers to participate in any form of poker game play or gambling transaction.
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission will hear the matters contained in the Hearing Notices at a Regulatory Hearing which will commence at 10.00am on Tuesday 26th July, 2011 at the Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EQ. In the event that there is a change to these details this notice will be amended."
André Wilsenach, Executive Director of the AGCC, went on to say: "The decision to suspend the eGambling licence was in the public interest and, because of the seriousness and urgency of the matter, it required that immediate action be taken ahead of the regulatory hearing."
For those who may recall, the aforementioned investigation is same which the alluded to in an earlier statement by the AGCC. For more on the AGCC back story, be sure to revisit PokerNews' interview with Michael Ellen, director of licensing and strategy for the AGCC.
So far no word from Full Tilt, other that a banner on FullTiltPoker.com stating: “Scheduled Maintenance In Progress - The system is currently down for maintenance. Please check back soon!”
This is a breaking story and PokerNews will be sure to bring you all the developments as they happen.