Former UK Gambling Commission chairman Peter Dean, CBE, will lead an independent investigation in to the AGCC’s decisions and methods that resulted in the suspension, and ultimately the revocation, of Full Tilt Poker’s operating license. The review will focus on the “appropriateness, timeliness and fairness of the actions undertaken” by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.
“We believe we acted appropriately and fairly at all times but, following our own internal assessment and the inevitable questions that have been raised by third parties, the Commission decided that it is in the best interests of players, license holders and AGCC itself to commission an independent review and to make the outcome public,” stated André Wilsenach, Executive Director of the AGCC, in an official statement released on Wednesday.
Dean will present a final report by March 2012, along with his recommendations to the commission.
The AGCC suspended the license of Full Tilt soon after the events of Black Friday and scheduled hearings with Full Tilt to review their license. Three months after the initial suspension, the AGCC finally revoked Full Tilt’s license, claiming that they were “fundamentally misled” by FTP in regards to the status of players’ funds.
The commission has come under fire for the delay in the final decision, its practice of relying on the honesty of operators, and for not enforcing the segregation of player funds.
In an interview from the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Wilsenach stated that player funds segregation is “no silver bullet,” and justified the AGCC’s “regulate by report” method stating that “there must be a certain level of trust,” and in the case of Full Tilt, “that trust was in place.”
“[The AGCC] was aware all along that [player’s] funds had been commingled with [Full Tilt’s] own funds,” he said, and added that “Full Tilt had indicated to the DOJ that those funds had been held in segregated accounts.” However, the AGCC was “never concerned about it” because reports received from Full Tilt indicated there was “sufficient cash to cover player liabilities.”
“It was only after when we started investigating that we realized […] they had wrongly reported to us and misled us as in terms of their financial position,” said Wilsenach.
Peter Dean CBE was chairman of the UK Gambling Commission from 1998 to 2007, as well as deputy chairman of the UK Monopolies and Mergers Commission and formerly Chairman of the Gaming Board.
“I am delighted that Peter Dean has agreed to conduct the review,” added Wilsenach. “He has many years of experience at the top of the British Gambling Commission and commands wide respect from operators and regulators alike.”