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Alderney Regulation 'Appropriate' in Full Tilt Poker Saga

Report Into Alderney Gambling Control Commission Says “AGCC Fulfilled Its Statutory Obligations in Relation to FTP”

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The Alderney Gambling Control Commission has published the report into its regulatory activities in relation to Full Tilt Poker before and after its collapse last year.

The full report, commissioned by the AGCC and conducted by Peter Dean, former Chairman of the British Gambling Control Commission, can be found here.

However the summary and conclusion section of the report summarizes the main findings, with Dean stating, “Alderney’s regulatory system for gambling is comparable to those prevailing in other well regarded jurisdictions, and AGCC is respected round the world as a regulator demanding high standards of probity from its licensees.

“Deplorable as the episode covered in this review has been, it is nevertheless an example of regulation working as it should. As soon as plausible evidence of irregularities came to light the regulator acted promptly and proportionately. An investigation was instituted, findings made, a hearing held, judgment delivered and sanctions imposed. Due process was followed.

“This assessment will be of little comfort to the disaffected players who are still denied access to funds owed to them by FTP. The tribunal proceedings in 2011 were adjourned for several weeks to allow time for a rescue package to be negotiated.

“When this failed, the Commissioners then properly decided that because of the seriousness of the allegations they should discharge their statutory duties without further delay.

“The AGCC Commissioners, Executive Director and senior staff are clearly determined to make improvements as a result of lessons learned from this episode. I hope my review will help in the process.

“My opinion overall is that AGCC fulfilled its statutory obligations in relation to FTP and that its actions were appropriate, timely and fair.

Not unsurprisingly AGCC executive director André Wilsenach said he was pleased with the findings of the report, “We note that today’s report finds that ‘AGCC fulfilled its statutory obligations in relation to FTP and that its actions were appropriate, timely and fair.’

“That is the standard to which we aspire.

“Nonetheless, Mr Dean’s report does make valuable recommendations on how we can make improvements in the light of what has happened. We accept those proposals and will seek to implement them as soon as practically possible.

“None of this, of course, will compensate those players who have lost money as a result of FTPs actions, and we have great sympathy for them. But, as the report confirms, a regulatory regime cannot be proof against deliberate concealment or deception.”

Some of the more interesting points the report throws up is that Alderney had difficulty getting ownership information from Full Tilt and its associated companies led by Ray Bitar. The method it eventually allowed Full Tilt to use to satisfy this demand “was less than ideal.”

The report says that, "Throughout its dealings with FTP, AGCC relied to a significant extent on FTP’s external lawyers as a channel of communication. They played a prominent role in the arrangements for satisfying AGCC about the credentials of the owners of associated companies… "

It goes on to recommend that, “In principle, however, AGCC should establish a proper direct relationship with its licensees and not resort to intermediaries as a matter of routine.”