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Online poker site with HQ in Dublin has licence suspended

Full Tilt Poker has halted play this evening after its licence was suspended. The company employs 700 people in Cherrywood in Dublin.

Updated 9pm

FULL TILT POKER, with headquarters in Cherrywood in Dublin, has had its licence suspended and its operations halted.

The Alderney Gambling Commission, which licences gambling companies, has announced that it’s issued suspension notices to Vantage Ltd, Oxalic Ltd, Filco Ltd and Orinic Ltd, which collectively trade as Full Tilt Poker, and has told the company to halt all operations. Andre Wilsenach, executive director of the commission said:

The decision to suspend the eGambling licence was in the public interest and because of the seriousness and urgency of the matter.

Full Tilt employs 700 people at the Cherrywood Business Park in Dublin, via the service provider Pocket Kings.

Ray Bitar, the chief executive of Full Tilt had charges brought against him in April by the FBI. He was one of eleven people who were charged in New York in relation to illegal online gambling. Full Tilt’s US operations were shut down, but the site continued to operate in Europe. Forbes also reports that Full Tilt agreed not to allow poker play in the US, and that it is struggling to pay money owed to its players.

The Alderney Gambling Commission says the licence suspension will be the subject of a hearing on 26 July. Ten other companies were also indicted along with Full Tilt in April. One of those – PokerStars – has issued a statement today reassuring customers that its operations are unaffected.

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Online poker appears to have been halted on the Full Tilt website, which is displaying a ‘down for maintenance’ message.

PokerStrategy.com reports that if a player attempts to withdraw their money they receive a message which reads “unfortunately, we are currently unable to complete your request”.

Full Tilt Poker and Pocket Kings could not be reached for comment this evening, and The Alderney Gambling Commission says it will be making no further comment, as an investigation is ongoing. It is unclear what impact the suspension will have on the Dublin operation.

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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