The online poker world grew a little smaller today, as Full Tilt Poker was officially shut down. Players are now even more concerned, and for good reason– while the site (along with PokerStars and Absolute Poker) and its executives faced charges of bank fraud, illegal gambling, and money laundering, the initial response to this news was an assumption that this would mean the end of the sites in the United States. Two months after the infamous “Black Friday” in April, Full Tilt Poker had its eGambling license revoked by the government of Alderney, one of the Channel Islands that lies between England and France and the location of Full Tilt Poker. A follow-up meeting will be held at 10 in the morning on Tuesday, the 26th of July, 2011 in London; this regulatory hearing will address any rebuttals or presentation of additional materials that could potentially reverse the decision to revoke Full Tilt’s license.
So what, exactly, does it mean that Full Tilt has lost their license? Essentially, it means that the site can’t operate anymore as an online poker site (for real money, at any rate). While the site was having problems before with frozen accounts and the lawsuits and bad publicity that followed from previously-loyal players who now had up to millions of dollars on ice and their careers severely impacted, this new determination essentially outlines what Full Tilt is no longer allowed to do:
Full Tilt Poker cannot register new members.
- This alone wouldn’t be a huge problem for Full Tilt, as they have plenty of customers already (although they’ve been jumping ship in larger and larger numbers since the troubles started two months ago). The revocation of the license doesn’t limit Full Tilt to only keeping the members that they have– it goes much further.
Full Tilt Poker cannot accept deposits from existing customers.
- Basically, Full Tilt has no way to secure long-term financial gains. Without new money coming into the site, the amount that can be taken in rakes and tournament entry fees will eventually run out, and since the money can’t leave the site, it becomes worth more than its paper value to players, who will eventually think twice about paying fees.
Full Tilt Poker cannot allow existing players to withdraw money from their accounts.
- Wow, here’s the root of the problem that Full Tilt’s been having. If players can’t remove their money (their money– money that they either deposited or earned through game play with other poker players, all of whom were adults who willingly entered into poker games with them), then they have no incentive to stay with the site and every reason to leave (or to sue, like Phil Ivey did, in an attempt to get back their funds). American players have been having this problem since April 11th, but this now applies to all players worldwide, making this ruling one that will have a lasting impact on the poker community.
Finally, Full Tilt Poker cannot allow their customers to play any kind of poker game or take part in a gambling transaction.
- That pretty much sums it up. Full Tilt Poker is no longer allowed to let their players play any kind of poker game, even those that are not played for real money. This ultimate no-poker, no-gambling caveat seals the deal: while the Full Tilt Poker website currently says that they’re down for site maintenance, this is an inaccurate representation of the issue: Full Tilt Poker has been served a death sentence.