Black Friday Update: AGCC report, plea deals and FT sale

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 30, 2012 Posted in Legal Poker News, Online Poker News | No Comments »

In place of our usual Friday Wrap weekly column I’ve decided to run a Black Friday Wrap, detailing some of the recent developments in the still-ongoing Black Friday saga that began nearly a year ago on April 15,2011.

There have been a number of developments on the Black Friday front in the past few weeks, which is why I have devoted this article to these updates for the benefit of poker players and poker enthusiasts who may not spend their every waking hour poring through the Internet to find the latest developments.

Full Tilt sale “A Done Deal” according to multiple reports

On the Full Tilt Poker front there has been very little in the way of positive news over the past year, but if recent reports are to be believed it appears that the Full Tilt Poker sale to Groupe Bernard Tapie is imminent, and that European and poker players from around the world (sans the United States) may soon have their Full Tilt Poker balances released to them.

The first outlet to carry this story was Gaming Intelligence, and later on the very same day eGaming Review ran a similar story. About a week later Wicked Chops Poker ran their own version, and considering their long pessimistic stance on the matter many in the poker industry started to think that sale was in fact coming to a conclusion.

Now whether or not US players will receive their account balances is another matter…

Here is a look at two of the articles we have run on the recent industry rumblings:

Anonymous Sources Claim Full Tilt Poker Sale Imminent

New Source Claims Full Tilt Poker Sale on the Horizon

Black Friday defendants Elie and Campos plea-bargain, judge says not so fast

Over the past week there has been a rash of stories and updates coming out of New York, as the trials for two of the 11 men indicted on Black Friday Chad Elie and John Campos were preparing to get underway.

The first story to break was that former payment processor Daniel Tzvetkoff would not only be a witness in the trial, but that he had also turned over some 90,000 documents, including personal exchanges between himself and Chad Elie and John Campos. Here is our detailed version of Daniel Tzvetkoff’s recent role in the Black Friday trial: Former Online Poker Payment Processor to Testify

Elie was the first of the two who suddenly got cold feet about going to trial, plea-bargaining with prosecutors and changing his plea from innocent to guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Here is our write-up on this part of the story: Black Friday Defendant Chad Elie Enters Guilty Plea

Just a day later Campos also cut a deal with prosecutors, getting off with a guilty plea to just a single misdemeanor count. Here is our full write-up on this story: Second Black Friday Defendant John Campos Pleads Guilty

However, the judge in the case, Lewis Kaplan, asked prosecutors to explain the latter plea-bargain, asking why the US government was essentially walking away from the case? The Wall Street Journal has more on this story.

AGCC issues 12-page report on their handling of Full Tilt Poker

This week the Aldernay Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) which was the license holder for Full Tilt Poker at the time of Black Friday issued a 12-page, independent, report on their handling of the matter both before and after Black Friday.

Not surprisingly, the investigation which was initiated and paid for by the AGCC found the regulatory body acted “appropriately” during the entire fiasco. Here is a look at the Press Release the AGCC issued along with their 12-page report written by Peter Dean, the former Chairman of the British Gambling Commission:

Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has today published the full report and recommendations following an independent review of its actions and processes in relation to Vantage Limited, Filco Limited, and Oxalic Limited together trading as Full Tilt Poker (FTP).

The report, commissioned in December 2011, was conducted by Peter Dean CBE – former Chairman of the British Gambling Commission. A full copy can be found at Click here André Wilsenach, Executive Director of the AGCC has welcomed the report’s findings and accepted its recommendations in full. Speaking following the report’s publication, Mr Wilsenach said,

‘The AGCC would like to thank Peter Dean for his detailed and thorough report. We believed it was important, given the sensitivities surrounding the revocation of Full Tilt Poker’s licences that an independent review should be carried out into the way in which the AGCC conducted itself throughout this process, and we are grateful that this has now been completed.

‘We wanted to reassure ourselves, and those who take an interest in our activities, that should mistakes have been made then we would recognise them, and if lessons could be learned that we would learn them.

‘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. Our focus now is to assist other authorities to recover as much of the players’ funds as possible.

‘In addition, the Commission is already in advanced stages of implementing a new approach towards the protection of player funds on a risk-assessed basis.’

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