MediaCorp PLC has finally appointed a liquidator for defunct subsidiary Purple Lounge. The announcement was made in the London Gazette and includes details of a creditors meeting to be held on July 23.
The liquidators are a well respected UK firm of Chartered Accountants, Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery LLP. There seems little hope that players will receive more than a small proportion of their deposits back.
Purple Lounge is a subsidiary company of AIM listed MediaCorp PLC. The operating company was based in and licensed by the Lotteries & Gaming Authority of Malta. Despite being required to hold player funds in segregated accounts and despite being owned by a company quoted on the London Stock Exchange, players appear to have had no protection whatsoever.
In January 2012, Purple Lounge moved from Microgaming Network to Entraction. Three months later, the poker room closed, and “historic operational and financial failings” were discovered that forced the company into liquidation. Player deposits had been spent on operational costs: A serious regulatory breach that apparently went unnoticed by its owner MediaCorp, its regulator the LGA, and its network provider Entraction/IGT.
Meanwhile, MediaCorp sails on oblivious to the anger of Purple Lounge’s players and apparently immune to any consequences. Under new management the company is planning to launch a new gaming site called Intabet and is currently seeking gaming licences for its operation.
At a MediaCorp shareholders’ General Meeting on July 5th, the new management announced that they were reducing staff numbers by 50% and moving to smaller cheaper offices. Somehwhat cryptically an operations update explained:
The Board of Media Corporation PLC is pleased to announce that it has reached agreement, with a number of parties, in respect of certain matters raised by the Company, principally concerning the sale of certain of its publishing assets in April 2012.
Apparently this has resulted in a reduction of liabilities by £80k and a cash settlement in their favor of £196k. At the General meeting they stated that they had not yet drawn down any money from the £750k loan facility that they have negotiated.
The management’s focus has been 100% on the main company and no attention has been given to the reputational risks of their treatment of Purple Lounge customers.There has been no mention whatsoever of the liquidation of Purple Lounge on the Media Corp corporate website.