The French regulator Autorité de Régulation des Jeux En Ligne has suspended Full Tilt Poker’s French license today.
ARJEL held a meeting earlier today to discuss the French-facing poker site FullTiltPoker.fr, which has been down since last Wednesday when the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended Full Tilt’s licenses. About an hour ago, the French regulator released a statement announcing that Full Tilt’s French license is now suspended as well.1
While ARJEL’s announcement of the scheduled meeting appeared to stress the downtime and players’ inability to access their accounts as the French regulatory authority’s primary complaint against Full Tilt Poker, the suspension notice makes clear that the poker site and ARJEL have had other problems: The notice says that ARJEL asked Full Tilt Poker to submit a new application for licensing on May 12 to show that French players’ funds were secure. According to ARJEL, FTP’s application, submitted on June 17th, was incomplete. It also cites Full Tilt’s failure to keep its players informed of the situation since the site went down on Wednesday as another reason for the suspension. Indeed, Full Tilt Poker has released no public statement since both the French and international sites went down on June 29th, and their web site has displayed various messages blaming the downtime on “scheduled maintenance” or “a system update.”
Though the suspension is apparently temporary, the notice does not mention an end date or a scheduled hearing. Instead, the summary explains that the regulator is in talks with Full Tilt Poker in an attempt to help it secure more funding. It says that refinancing of the poker site is a necessary condition for reapproval.
Autorité de Régulation des Jeux En Ligne is the French regulatory authority charged with the task of licensing and regulating the French-only poker sites. French law requires online poker sites serving French citizens to segregate French players from the international market, pay large taxes, restrict stakes, and maintain a license from ARJEL. FullTiltPoker.fr has had such a license under the company name of Rekop Limited since the summer of 2010.
The Alderney Gaming Control Commission suspended Full Tilt’s licenses Wednesday.2 Afterwards, players were unable to connect to the poker site using the client software, and Full Tilt’s website reported that its system was “down for maintenance.” Nearly five days after the license was suspended, the poker site and its French sister site are still down. A hearing with the AGCC is scheduled for July 26th in London, though Full Tilt has the right to appeal the suspension and possibly get its license back faster under AGCC regulations. Earlier today, Alderney released a statement saying that it was in talks with Full Tilt Poker and third parties to attempt to remedy the situation, but the statement described the talks as “at an early stage.”
Edited on 7/4/2011 4:40 PM EDT: Many minor changes.
Edited on 7/5/2011 5:35 AM EDT: Changed the erroneous statement “unable to connect to the client software” to “unable to connect to the poker site using the client software.”