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Analyst Dismisses Notion that Full Tilt Poker Tried to Bribe Alderney Gambling Commission

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/01/2011
Full Tilt Poker Alderney

Full Tilt’s Missing Money:  The Alderney £250K Gambling Debt.  Many were up in arms last week over what they perceived to be a “potential bribe”, but those on the scene suggested otherwise.

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The one thing that irked people more about last week’s Alderney Gambling Control Commission hearing on disgraced Full Tilt Poker other than it being a complete waste of time was the disclosure that FTP owed the AGCC £250K in licensing fees.  This prompted many in the poker community to question the licensing agency’s motives for pulling Full Tilt’s license on June 29.  Was it all about the AGCC not getting paid?

 

Pokerati’s Joseph Ewens was in the room during the hearing and decided to clear up a few of the misconceptions pertaining to the missing 250 pounds.

 

In addition to problems related to Black Friday, there was the small point of a missing $250,000 licensing fee.

For those of you not familiar with Black Friday (and, believe it or not, there are plenty who come to the Gambling911.com inquiring why the Full Tilt Poker site is no longer available in the US), the online poker room was indicted on April 15 (a Friday) on charges of money laundering and bank fraud in connection with misrepresenting gambling transactions as dog food and golf balls.  Much of this was done through a small Utah bank the US Justice Department implies had been essentially “paid off” by FTP and two other online poker rooms.

Ewens continues…

The commission were ready to move on, before Heslop interjected, asking if he could make a response. Stoic chairwoman Isabel Picornell leant over to her legal advisor, who responded with a quick nod of approval. In his rebuttal, Heslop offered to explain why the $250,000 had not been paid. He claimed that Full Tilt knew their license was approaching suspension and therefore decided it would be foolish to fork over the cash.

Heslop closed by adding that Full Tilt would be happy to pay the quarter of a million within seven days, should the license be reinstated. There was no offer to pay in the next week regardless of whether or not Full Tilt were back in business. If they return to Alderney they will need new investment.

Even as Gambling911.com provided its up-to-the-minute coverage based on reports from those on the scene (a la Poker News, Quadjacks and eGaming Review Magazine), there were suggestions of “bribery” as it pertained to the licensing issue, “a large cash incentive to get the AGCC to arbitrate in their favour”. 

Ewens said he can’t rule such a thing out, but that seems “highly unlikely”. 

A large cash incentive to get the AGCC to arbitrate in their favour. I can’t totally rule this out, but it seems pretty unlikely. Full Tilt’s non-payment is part of why their license was suspended in the first place. There’s no way Full Tilt can ask to be let back into town, but then refuse to pay the upkeep. The AGCC know this. It’s their rule. It would be like trying to bribe the government by offering to pay your taxes.

Rage against Full Tilt to your heart’s content, but don’t expect to get any facts if you don’t have any to start with.

 

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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