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Full Tilt Loses French License

Full Tilt Loses French License

The Autorité de Régulation des Jeux En Ligne (ARJEL) has announced the suspension of Full Tilt Poker’s license to operate within French borders.

This news comes as a result of the sudden closure of the FullTiltPoker.fr website last Wednesday. Players have been unable to access their accounts, while the company has remained all but silent. The defunct website has simply stated that their service has halted due to “routine maintenance” or “system updates.”

According to Noah Stephens-Davidowitz of Subject Poker, the unexplained closure of FullTiltPoker.fr is only the tip of the iceberg. After several prior run ins, this latest incident has simply pushed the French regulators over the edge. The suspension notice from ARJEL, says Stephens-Davidowitz, states that the group had “asked Full Tilt Poker to submit a new application for licensing on May 12 to show that French players’ funds were secure. According to crypto gambling  FTP’s application, submitted on June 17th, was incomplete. It also cites Full Tilt’s failure to keep its players informed of the situation since the site went down on Wednesday as another reason for the suspension.”

While this is slated to be only a temporary suspension, there are other issues here which may lengthen the company’s poker lockout. Funding quibbles and other such matters must be resolved before French players will be allowed to return to their places at the digital felt.

This is just the latest development in what has become a sordid year for the international gaming giant. 2011 has seen the company’s withdrawal from the United States, numerous lawsuits from former players, and other troubles which have brought them low in the public eye. PokerStars, the organization most frequently compared with Full Tilt, has managed to escape similar public relations nightmares with relatively little backlash. But thanks to a combination of poor communication and the indifferent tone they’ve taken with players, Full Tilt’s corporate image has taken a major beating.

On June 29 in the early morning, the AGCC suspended Full Tilt’s license which halted all real money play. Since this happened, there has been little information on what the next step is for the company and its players who have millions of dollars locked up on the site.

Full Tilt has not said much, only displaying a message on their homepage:

System Update

We apologise but the system is currently down. Please check back later.

and sending a short e-mail to all of their players stating they must suspend all real money play and are working on a solution.

On July 3, The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) issued a media release about its discussions with Full Tilt Poker. You can see it below in its entirety:

Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) is in discussions, all be at an early stage, with its licensees trading as Full Tilt Poker and a third party concerning the prospective refinancing of Full Tilt Poker.

The objective of these discussions is to enable the site to re-open to its current and prospective players.

Contrary to current reports circulating in the media, AGCC has not authorised any statement by legal counsel in this regard and has no knowledge of the comments attributed by the editor of Gambling City.net to a Mr. Werner Bers, of whom we are otherwise unaware, and disputes the correctness of his statement.

All and any further authorised announcements on this matter will be found on the website of AGCC at www.gamblingcontrol.org

Correspondence may be conducted via info@agcc.gg

Although it doesn’t say much, it seems like this is good news. It sounds like they want to work this out with Full Tilt Poker and open the site back up for real money play in a timely manner. Hopefully we hear more about this sooner than later. Be sure to check out FTR’s Black Friday coverage for new updates and developments.