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Full Tilt Poker Suspends Operations

By: Mark Freedman, Thursday June 30th 2011
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When on April 15 2011, now known as Black Friday, the three top American online poker rooms were indicted by the Department of Justice the online gambling world was shocked. Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker went into damage control to safeguard their reputation and their operations in other countries. Full Tilt Poker has been unable to withstand the impact of the indictment and has suspended all its operations yesterday, adding to the dismay of online gambling players.

Immediately after Black Friday the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), which is the licensing authority for Full Tilt Poker, had announced that it would review the situation. Yesterday AGCC announced that it had suspended Full Tilt's licences, forcing the online poker room to suspend all operations. The complete statement from AGCC read, "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."

Full Tilt Poker's servers are down and play at the online poker site has been fully halted. The reactions expressed at the online gambling forums are more of resignation than of anger. English poker player Keith Hawkins wrote, "Full Tilt ceases operations. I guess after Black Friday, today should be called Predictable Wednesday. I hope everyone gets their money." The Full Tilt web site says that the system is currently shut down because of maintenance in progress and requests players to check back later. But no one is buying that story. A Full Tilt spokesman has gone on record that a statement from Full Tilt Poker is expected in the next 24 hours, and further interim statements will be made during the week. This suspension from AGCC could not have come at a worse time for Full Tilt Poker. The online poker room was engaged in advanced negotiations with a financer that would allow it to pay back the deposits of its American players.

Meanwhile PokerStars, the other major American online poker room affected by Black Friday, has reacted to the Full Tilt suspension to assure the online gambling fraternity that it is not under any similar threat. PokerStars stated that its "online operations continue as normal and all funds in players' accounts are safe and available for withdrawal as usual with no delays." The Isle of Man Gaming Commission, which is the prime licensor to PokerStars stated that PokerStars' worldwide licensing is intact and that the online poker room's operations are in full compliance with all licensing requirements. Traffic on PokerStars has reportedly gone up by 5% after Full Tilt suspended its operations.

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