Final insult for Full Tilt as Channel Islands kill its licence
Poker site in Ponzi scheme probe
The Channel Islands have revoked the gambling licence of Full Tilt Poker, the online gambling firm US prosecutors have accused of being a global Ponzi scheme.
Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), which initially suspended the licence when the FBI closed the site down in the US, said in a statement today:
It emerged that Full Tilt Poker (FTP) had fundamentally misled AGCC about their operational integrity by continuously reporting as liquid funds blanches that had been covertly seized or restrained by US authorities, or that were otherwise not actually available to the operator.
The commission added that the site had seriously breached its regulations with false reporting, unauthorised provision of credit, and failure to report material events.
However, AGCC also pointed out that revoking the licences from Vantage Limited, Filco Limited and Oxalic Limited, which had been trading as FTP, "does not, as has been suggested, prevent a reactivation of the business under new ownership and management".
Around ten days ago, federal prosecutors lodged court documents in the US that accused the operators of FTP of running a massive Ponzi scheme that robbed players of around $330 million.
They alleged that $443 million was withdrawn from players' accounts and divvied out to board members and owners. The claims were an addition to an existing civil complaint that charged FTP, along with two other online poker sites, of violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which stops illicit gambling outfits from accepting payments. ®
I think the one thing you can be certain of is that any online gambling site is designed to separate you from your money, it's just a matter of degrees.
Maybe I'm missing something here...
...but how can you be *certain* that an on-line poker is genuine, and not just set up to game you out of your cash? Is there a video feed of your opponents? I only played poker, once, and lost shamefully (!), but one thing I did become aware of is that the game is perhaps more psychology than basic skill. Hence the expression "poker face". Thus, I never really understood how these various online poker sites could work...
Given a reasonable number of players you have to be really stupid or really greedy to need to be dishonest to make a mint from running an online poker site.
A cut of the winnings from every hand goes to the operator, so there is a steady income with no risk and comparatively low expenses. Of course Full Tilt did run an enormous amount of TV ads and hired big name players - which can't come cheap - so maybe that was their problem.