Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Full Tilt Poker, Online Gamblings Biggest Black Eye?

I haven't been blogging much since April 15 2011, poker's "Black Friday", so I thought I would give a little run down on the events since Black Friday.

It all started with the US Department of Justice (DOJ). They moved in and shut down the big 3 online poker sites, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and UB Poker for online gambling law infractions such as payment processing schemes and illegal online transactions. The charges refer to US Illegal Gambling Business Act of 1955 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. 

I was hoping that it would all be settled and players paid back by now, but obviously Full Tilt Poker was in a lot more trouble than anyone thought. The news now, is of principal owners taking huge multi million dollar dividends, bonuses and fees, and top professional players being loaned millions for years. All this has left the players owed money feeling like they were scammed and used by Full Tilt poker, its directors, principal owners and some, maybe most, of the top professionals promoting Full Tilt.

Almost a year later, players are left wondering how it was allowed to get this bad? The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) are the regulatory and supervisory board that licensed Full Tilt. Where was their regulation and supervision?  Players money was obviously not safe. It was the USA Department of Justice (DOJ) that started the ball rolling on April 15 2011, although their motives and timing for shutting down the online sites are suspicious.

Full Tilt now have a French investment group, Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT), trying to buy out the troubled company. After months of negotiations the deal seems close, except for a few small details and one large one, the recovery of 16.5 million in money owed to Full Tilt by various top professional poker players that GBT will not take responsibility for. The news of top professionals owing a combined 16.5 million to Full Tilt has exacerbated players even more. The lawyers for GBT have said that if deals to recover the 16.5 million cant be made with the professional poker players from Full Tilt, it may break the deal to purchase the company. Hopefully GBT using the media to light fires under the asses of those players that owe money to Full Tilt's coffers will work to complete the deal soon.

My personal opinions don't really matter here, but I would like to make it clear that I am one of the many poker players that Full Tilt owes money to. I tried to withdrawal a 3 digit sum from my 4 digit account on Full Tilt, 14 days before April 15 2011( Black Friday). Full Tilt acknowledged my withdrawal request on April 2nd 2011 with an auto response email, but have not sent my funds or any emails on when I would receive them. After waiting 4 days with out any news, I emailed Full Tilt on April 5th inquiring about my withdrawal and received a reply from a Full Tilt representative named "Robbert"(no employee number is supplied), April 6th 2011 stating: "We are experiencing delays in processing". Since April 6th 2011, I have sent numerous(at least 10) emails inquiring about the withdrawal, but have had no replies to date.