So it seems that things will get worse before that get better in online poker in the USA and elsewhere.
The actions started by the DOJ and FBI two and a half months ago have had an unexpected ripple effect this week when Full Tilt Poker totally shut down. Not just in the USA (where they were closed since April 15th), but all over the world. Indeed the indictments led to Full Tilt’s gambling authority to start their own investigation.
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission is the regulatory body that granted Full Tilt Poker their gaming license. The AGCC regulates all egaming activities for companies operating in Alderney and attempts to comply to the highest international standards of fairness and integrity. Alderney is one of the Channel Islands and part of the British Crown. Similarly to the Isle of Man (that regulates Pokerstars), Alderney has the ability to attract gambling operators while regulating them.
But the similarity with Pokerstars stops there. Unlike Pokerstars which was announced to be following their gambling rules and which had their license maintained, Full Tilt just got their license revoked. This is an unprecedented event that led to millions of non-American players left enable to play online poker there, and worse to dispose of their bankroll. And this sad situation is not expected to evolve fast. The main reason for this negative audit seems to be that Full Tilt had not been able to send their balance back to their American players more than two months after Black Friday. But PokerStars had done so long time ago.
So things apparently are getting worse before they can get better. Hopefully the positive outcome of this entire situation is that online gaming will get better regulated internationally. This is good for everyone. Players will be treated more fairly. Government will be able to raise taxes. Operators will be be better regulated so that the bad apples will be discarded and this business gets the respect it deserves. This will lead to better products on the market.
France is probably one of the leading markets when it comes to regulating their online gambling vendors. The USA is now actively working on their own amended regulation. Other countries will follow as well.