Posts Tagged ‘Alderney’

Wider World of Poker

Black Friday informer, UK Chancellor gambles, Bwin stutter, Alderney celebrate, and the iSeries lives.

by , Mar 23, 2012 | 10:18 am

Today my mum phoned to explain how important it was that I go outside to get some sunshine. I had to tell her: So committed am I to gathering up the choicest morsels of news-meat that I will heedlessly flout my body’s basic Vitamin D requirements. Noble reader, if you find me sprawled in bed with my skin turned to dust (or whatever happens to people who don’t get enough sunlight), lay me on a poker table, set it alight and push it through the Rio. It’s what the Vikings would have wanted.

Aussie ‘Supergrass’ To Testify

The catalyst for Black Friday, Daniel Tzvetkoff, is to testify on April 9th at the trials of Chad Elie and John Campos. The Australian millionaire made his fortune as the head of Instabill, a payment processor frequently used by online poker players. After being arrested in April 2010 he become an informant, providing U.S. federal authorities with the evidence they needed to bring down PokerStars and Full Tilt. [The Australian]

UK Market No Longer Tax Free 

On Wednesday, a pasty-faced man with a red briefcase came before the people of Britain with a special list of things for the nation to complain about. The Budget, as it is more commonly known, contained information about big changes to the UK gaming sector. From now on operators will be required to pay tax on all profits generated by British players. [Poker Fuse]

Ups and Downs for Bwin

Bwin, the Austrian half of bwin.party, have had a mixed week. On the positive side, they released a new app for real-money poker on the iPad. Their network is now smushed together with Party Poker, so there should be plenty of action to keep you busy on the train or the toilet. Or the toilet on the train.

More negatively, Spanish lawmakers have decreed that football teams may not carry sponsorship logos belonging to companies not locally domiciled. Bwin operate from a zeppelin above the mountains of Mars Gibraltar and are therefore required to end their lucrative deal with league-topping Real Madrid. [Gaming Intelligence] & [The Olive Press]

All Alderney All the Timealderney map

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission added their 100th licensee this week in the form of the Relax Gaming network. Head of e-Commerce at Alderney, Robin LePrevost, was bullish about the island’s reputation after Black Friday, claiming that they have seen no slowdown in applications. Their questionable regulation of Full Tilt may not have stemmed the flow, but the addition of nearby Jersey to the license-providing market may have a more profound impact. [Card Player]

iSeriesLIVE to Debut in Ireland

The iSeriesLIVE is a brand new venture which allows viewers to wager on poker as it plays out live. The inaugural event takes place in Dublin on April 5th and features the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Faraz Jaka. As it unfolds, PaddyPower will be taking bets on the next elimination, how red or black the next flop will turn out, and all manner of ridiculous wagers. It’s all the fun of poker degeneracy without the inconvenience of actually having to actually play poker. [iSeriesLIVE]

I shall bid you adieu in the form of a congratulation. Noted wit-merchant David Mitchell is to tie the knot with poker player and journalist Victoria Coren. I’m happy for the couple, of course, but I’d mainly like to congratulate the universe for being a place in which two such interesting people can come together in the pursuit companionship and mysterious bedroom activities. A quick word to David, you might want to read up a little before the wedding night.


Wider World of Poker

Phil's Millions, Regulators make new friends, black-slapping awards, and ultimate melancholy

by , Feb 2, 2012 | 3:06 pm

There’s a muffin waiting for me at the end of this article. Yes, I have stooped so low as to require sugary bribes for motivation. Not an English muffin, either. Those are no good for inducement. Only the sickly American variety has the requisite density of glucose and cocoa.

There we go. Not one paragraph in and I’m already enjoying a new vitality. The chocolate macguffin remains wrapped in its brown paper bag and yet I’ve remembered what it is I love about writing. Sometimes we just need a little encouragement. Well, now that I’ve dealt with that personal crisis, pull yourselves together and lets get on with the news.

The Aussie and the Ivey

Yes, that’s a Christmas pun. So what? I’m recycling. Besides, I’m sure plenty of us media types put a resurgent Phil Ivey in our letters to Santa. After finally emerging from a cash game in Macau hiding, Ivey arrived at the Aussie Millions to play in one of his first major events since Black Friday. As if to make everyone else look like rank amateurs, Ivey waltzed into his most profitable month of tournament poker. After tumbling out of the $100k event, Ivey won his buy-in back by finishing 12th in the Main Event and then grabbed another $2,000,000 for winning the 16-player $250k tournament. Some guy called Oliver Speidel won $1.6m in the Main Event, but his name does not rhyme with ‘cor blimey’ so nobody cared. [Wicked Chops]

The French Channel

The Frenchy bit of Canada and the part of the British Isles closest to France have enshrined a new era of cooperation. The duo have agreed to routinely share information and expertise relating to online gambling regulation. Ontarians don’t have anything to actually regulate yet, but plans are afoot for a province-wide service later this year.

A little to the Southwest of Alderney sits another British Crown Dependency. Back in 2008, Jersey announced that it was providing egaming licenses, just like its little brother Alderney. Their overtures had not attracted any big names until Playtech took the plunge earlier this week. It’s not exactly clear what Playtech will do with their new license, but my guess is that it has something to do with wagering money over the internet. [Gambling Kingz] & [iGaming Business]

Gaming Gongs

“Oh my god! Are you the Galaxy Macau Integrated Resort?! Winner of the 2012 International Gaming Award for Casino/Integrated Resort of the Year? Can I get your autograph?”

That’s the sort of attention the Galaxy Casino is going to have to put up with from now on. Crazy people asking buildings for autographs. Signature hunters will have better luck with Sam Trickett, who was announced as Player of the Year at the European Poker Awards. Other prizes went to Ilari Sahamies, Natalia Nikitina, and Bertrand Grospellier. [European Poker Awards] & [International Gaming Awards]

Poker’s Impending Loss

Finally, something very very sad. Thor Hansen, the doyen of Norwegian poker, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. A veteran of Vegas casinos, the 64-year-old has two WSOP bracelets to his name and more than a few friends in the poker community. Hansen will long be remembered as pivotal figure in the growth of the European game and an inspiration to the Norway’s new poker generation. [Card Player]

Nothing funny to say after that. See you next week.


Full Tilt’s Revoked License!

APCW Perspectives Weekly

by , Sep 30, 2011 | 12:00 am

On the road again! J Todd has landed in Houston after his time in Barcelona, and this week he reports on the wildfires in Texas, the smouldering remains of Full Tilt Poker, and how their players are getting burned!


Full Tilt Bullsh-t !

APCW Perspectives Weekly

by , Aug 11, 2011 | 9:56 pm

Full Tilt Poker finds some cash to pay their obligations! Unfortunately, their players were not included! Also, online gambling news from Greece, California, and Fair Play USA.


Milestones and Setbacks

APCW Perspectives Weekly

by , Aug 2, 2011 | 11:20 am

The 250th installment of online gambling’s longest running show, Perspectives Weekly, brings you industry news from Full Tilt Poker and the suspension of their Alderney gambling license. Plus, we look at the new Fair Play USA coalition pushing for legal Internet gambling in America and remember a very special anniversary.


Tilt on Tilt

by , Jul 26, 2011 | 6:51 am

The Full Tilt section 49 hearing in London is continuing. The hearing commissioners are apparently considering whether to continue the proceedings in camera (i.e., in private), further to Full Tilt’s lawyers’ strong contention that the hearing should not be held in the public glare. Joseph Ewens has written a good update on what’s happening here.

Right now, there is a great deal of frustration – even anger – at the prospect of the proceedings continuing behind closed doors. That’s understandable. Players are going on minimal information and want answers about what happened to their funds and when (if) they’ll be paid back. They also want to know if and how the AGCC could have monitored Tilt more closely.

Balanced against this are the facts that two alleged principals of Full Tilt are facing serious federal charges in the United States. Counsel to Tilt will do everything possible to avoid prejudicing those individuals’ interests in the SDNY proceedings. Furthermore, if there are – and I hope there are – negotiations to purchase assets and (crucially) assume player liabilities, there are likely confidentiality provisions embedded in those discussions. The confidentiality clauses are likely drafted such that they don’t apply to information ordered to be disclosed under applicable law by a court or administrative tribunal of competent jurisdiction. (If they’re not, the confidentiality provisions may be inapplicable, in part.) Let’s assume that the Alderney regulators fit this definition. Even so, counsel to Tilt can hardly be blamed for wanting to keep this outside of the public eye unless and until there’s a deal to report out.

I’m sympathetic to those who want this to continue in full view of an interested and informed public. I think the bottom line, however, is that I don’t necessarily see public hearings as being conducive to a transaction (again, if one is in the works). Unfortunately, I believe that the best hope for players getting paid back is for someone else to step in and cover the bill. If that means a private hearing to give a confidential update to the AGCC for now, we should endorse that – not happily, or enthusiastically, but in order to be realistic about the facts as we find them right now.

If this goes forward in camera and it turns out there’s no deal in the works or it turns out to be a stalling tactic, I expect that the Gambling Control Commission will throw this back into a public hearing, among other actions that they can take. For now, I think we should respect the process. There are some who feel that the AGCC can’t be trusted and is discredited for ‘allowing’ things with Tilt to get to this stage in the first place. I’m also sympathetic to that line of argument, but I don’t think that the possibility that US players’ interests will be served by having these proceedings go forward behind closed doors should be dismissed out of hand.


Full Tilt’s Euro Backers Yet To Commit As Hearing Approaches

by , Jul 24, 2011 | 11:40 am

LONDON–There’s nothing more exciting than mysterious European investors. The kind of people who turn up in blurry photographs, wearing sunglasses while looking into the middle distance.

At least that’s how I imagine the potential saviours of Full Tilt Poker must look. The beleaguered online poker provider is currently locked in negotiations with a secretive group of moneymen, who have designs on a portion of Full Tilt’s Euro operation. Ahead of next week’s landmark hearing in London, these briefcase wielding millionaires could be the last hope for the ‘Home of the Pros’.

An official announcement on the deal was expected late last week. No such missive emerged, but the news hounds at EGR Magazine did manage to rustle up a ‘source connected to the suspended poker company.’

Most important, the insider indicates that the buyout will have “nothing to do with [Full Tilt’s] stateside activities.” That would leave thousands of U.S. players waiting for Howard Lederer to refund their frozen bankrolls weeping on the sidelines.

The linchpin of the sale could be Pocket Kings, the company responsible for Full Tilt Poker’s software and marketing. The value of the actual Full Tilt brand is amorphous at best and will depend heavily on the outcome of Tuesday’s hearing.

The former online poker behemoths are being held to account by the gambling commission of Alderney, a small island off the coast of France, where their gambling operations are licensed. Following the events of Black Friday, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission revoked their license, effectively shutting down the entire network.

As a member of the Channel Islands, Alderney is governed by UK law, so the AGCC are taking a short plane trip to London to present their evidence in public. I’ll be entrenched on location, sneaking out morse code transmissions tweets (@JoeOE18) to keep you in the loop. Keep your eyeballs glued to Pokerati for hard hitting analysis as the hearing continues.


Full Tilt Meltdown

APCW Perspectives Weekly

by , Jul 8, 2011 | 4:21 pm

This week, J Todd reviews the continuing troubles for Full Tilt Poker since “Black Friday”, including the loss of their licenses in Alderney and France, and a new class action lawsuit filed this week. We also get a status update on the launch of legal online gambling in Washington, DC


Alderney Suspends Full Tilt’s Gaming License

Beleaguered online poker site down for good?

by , Jun 29, 2011 | 5:05 am

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission has suspended the gaming license of Full Tilt Poker and Vantage Limited dba FullTilt.com. The AGCC says they must stop any and all operations from the UK Crown Dependency immediately.

Is this a final nail in the coffin for the once almighty poker dominion belonging primarily to a man named Jesus?

EGR had it first, and promises more play-by-play.

Alderney is one of three eight “white-listed” regulatory jurisdictions in the UK — along with Isle of Man and Gibraltar — meaning their licensees can advertise freely and enjoy the benefits of fully legitimate, properly taxed corporations.

full tilt maintenance

Alderney also partnered with Nevada back in January — as the Nevada Gaming Control Board looked to study effective online gaming regulation and assess the suitability of 888, which partnered with Caesars for online poker operations related to WSOP.com.

No word on whether or not the WSOP plans to remove Chris Ferguson’s main event championship banner as they have with Russ Hamilton’s.

For now Full Tilt is apparently down for “scheduled maintenance” … and your money is safe and secure?

UPDATE: Here is the AGCC’s official statement.


Vegas Comes to the Channel Islands

Alderney & Nevada Regulators Sign Memorandum of Understanding

by , Jan 27, 2011 | 11:39 am

I was all set this morning to write a blog entry on the continuing dispute in Kennedy & Omotoy v. Full Tilt Poker et al. (The original post by Dan Michalski was back in 2009.) This litigation is fascinating; it has bounced from state court to federal court and back to state court in California, and an update would be fun. But something else caught my eye: a public statement from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission stating that Alderney has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The statement is here.

As just about everyone familiar with Internet gambling is aware, Alderney is one of the handful of jurisdictions worldwide that actually licenses online interactive gaming, including poker. (Other such jurisdictions include Gibraltar, Malta, the Isle of Man, Antigua, and Kahnawake.) Probably the most prominent poker website operating under Alderney’s regulation is www.fulltiltpoker.com. Obviously Tilt is a US-facing site, which is interesting fact number 1. Interesting fact number 2 is that Alderney only regulates i-gaming. This makes sense. The place is a speck of an island off the north-western coast of France with a population of 2,400; it doesn’t have any bricks and mortar casinos.

The agreement between Nevada and Alderney “paves the way for enhanced cooperation in the field of gaming regulation.” Not too helpfully, the public statement specifies that this co-operation will extend to “the areas of sharing of information, expertise, knowledge and skills as well as exchange visits and training.” I hope for the sake of the Alderney parties that the “exchange visits” are mostly one-way and in Vegas, especially at this time of year.

So the Internet gaming regulator of a US-facing poker site (that, along with all currently US-facing poker sites) has a memorandum of understanding prescribing areas of co-operation with Nevada. (Don’t parse that previous sentence too closely; Nevada may still have a problem with i-gaming operators that turned off US players back in 2006 when the UIGEA was passed and that aren’t currently US-facing.) And since Alderney only regulates Internet gaming, the co-operation must be at least partly with a view to Nevada understanding and learning more about Internet gaming. Apparently Nevada doesn’t have a problem with recognizing the authority of Alderney to regulate Internet gaming; it only has a problem with the behaviour (sanctioned by Alderney) of some of their licensees. These kinds of agreements between gaming regulators aren’t particularly new. The Kahnwake Gaming Commission has struck agreements with Alderney and with Antigua that would appear to go much further than this accord between Alderney-Nevada. But it’s still interesting that Nevada is reaching out to engage with current online regulators – even online regulators that accept US-facing licensees.

What this means for Internet poker in the US is anyone’s guess, but it seems clear that Nevada is heading for regulation at some point. Nevada regulators were going to be at the forefront of the licensing structure contemplated by the Reid Bill draft that was floating around last month. The Nevada Gaming Commission was going to be one of the leading Qualified Bodies under the bill on a number of measures. It’s safe to say that Nevada will have a leading role if poker regulation happens at the federal level in the next couple of years; federal action may actually be more likely if more and more states start regulating intrastate gaming, including poker. At an intrastate level, Nevada’s signals have been mixed at best. This kind of agreement with Alderney, however, may indicate that Nevada could be thinking about going its own way absent federal interactive gaming oversight.

Internet poker regulation in the US may be one (very small) step closer.