Troubled online poker site Full Tilt Poker has learned that its hearing with the Alderney Gambling Control Commission will be held in private on September 19th.
A statement by Full Tilt Poker earlier today said, "On April 15th 2011 the United States Department of Justice unsealed a federal indictment against a number of individuals employed by major online poker operators. After the issuance of that indictment and a related civil case brought by the United States government, Full Tilt Poker withdrew from the US market. Then in a related action, on June 29th, 2011, Full Tilt Poker had its operating licenses suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.
As a result, Pocket Kings Ltd. (provider of marketing and technology services to Full Tilt Poker) has adopted a cost optimization program and estimates that they need to reduce their costs by approximately €12m. This program is intended to streamline the company's operations in order to better position itself for future growth and profitability in Full Tilt Poker’s markets outside of the U.S.
If all of the required cost savings were to be achieved through redundancies, approximately 250 positions could be affected; however the exact number cannot be confirmed until the conclusion of a consultation process with its workforce.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Pocket Kings firmly believes it has a very strong future in Full Tilt Poker’s Non-US Markets, and is fully committed to ensuring Full Tilt Poker restores the site and repay players in full. To this end, Full Tilt Poker has retained Sea Port Group Securities, LLC as its financial advisor with regard to raising capital and/or assisting in securing a strategic partner in order to fund continued operations of Full Tilt Poker's non-U.S. business. The Company is in active discussions with several parties and will provide a further statement in due course."
Following Full Tilt's statement, AGCC Executive Director Andre Wilsenach issued a matching statement that read: "The Commissioners of AGCC forming the tribunal dealing with the regulatory hearing into the affairs of FTP have decided that the hearing will continue on Monday 19th September 2011 but that it be held 'in camera'.
This determination was reached following a pre-hearing application by FTP to further adjourn the hearing.
André Wilsenach, Executive Director, stated: "I am pleased that the FTP hearing will continue as scheduled, as was argued on my behalf. However, I am disappointed with the tribunal's decision that, notwithstanding my arguments to the contrary, the hearing will be held in private. I believe the public has a right to know the reasoning behind the decisions to suspend FTP's licences and call a hearing, and to hear the evidence that will be put forward on my behalf.
It is my understanding that the tribunal conducted a difficult balancing exercise of the interests of the various parties, taking into account the legal arguments for and against further postponing the hearing, and for and against allowing the public to attend the proceedings."
As a consequence of the tribunal's decision members of the public will not be able to attend the hearing. A further statement will be made at the earliest possible opportunity."
Full Tilt's hearing with the AGCC is to be held on September 19th at the Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel on the Albert Embankment in London. The meeting is set to begin at 9am.