Full Tilt Hearing to Go Private?

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Amid rumors of their impending purchase by mysterious European buyers, Full Tilt Poker’s public hearing over their suspended license may soon become a private affair. Held in the city of London, the hearing has already been postponed until the middle of September.
Here’s what lead Full Tilt lawyer Michael Heslop had to say on the matter, as reported by eGaming Review Magazine:
“It is not in the interest of justice that this should be aired in public. There is a real risk that it may be detrimental to these interests and highly prejudicial to this decision.”
Part of the company’s reasoning here may lie in the supposedly looming purchase. If the hearing were to remain public, information on the potential buyers would leak out into the open market. This could affect the ability of the two parties to strike their monumental deal. The most closely watched bit of news would likely be the pending repayment of player accounts. Currently, Full Tilt owes approximately $150 million in cashouts, stemming from the notorious Black Friday lockouts.
As previously stated, the purpose of this UK-based hearing is to determine whether or not Full Tilt breached the terms of their agreement with the crypto gambling Control Council. The AGCC, who suspended the company’s license in June, doesn’t feel that a closed hearing is in their best interest.
“The purpose of the hearing,” read the group’s statement earlier this month, “will be to make public evidence from both AGCC and Full Tilt regarding the suspension of Full Tilt’s license and to adjudicate the findings transparently.”
Currently, the AGCC is seeking repayment for licensing fees which, they claim, Full Tilt failed to send in. According to CardPlayer.com, these fees amount to a whopping £250,000.
Since Full Tilt Poker had its gaming license revoked by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), there has been one clear winner: PokerStars. Upon losing its license, Full Tilt was immediately closed, only adding to the crippling effects of Black Friday. But PokerStars, who has proven themselves to be perhaps the most reliable site on the market, has been there to pick up the pieces.
Full Tilt housed roughly 7,000 cash game and 6,000 tournament players, all now without a home. Within three days of the shut down, 41% of the players had already showed up on other sites, with 59% inactive. It turns out that 27% of the active players moved to PokerStars, and have stayed there. For years, the online poker world has been seen as dominated by just two camps. And when one of those camps collapsed, it was nothing but easy work for PokerStars to play clean up.
Full Tilt’s future remains uncertain. Days before losing their license, an unnamed group of European investors was reported to have reached a $150 million buy-out deal to save Full Tilt. However, since the license was lost, information on the status of Full Tilt and any possible deal remains ambiguous at best.
But while Full Tilt hangs in the lurch, you can always get in on some real action: ESPN is currently live streaming the World Series of Poker Main Event, for the first time in WSOP history. You can find live coverage today through Wednesday, July 20 on ESPN3, ESPN2, and ESPN.

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