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Alderney revises regulations regarding segregation of player deposits

TAGs: Alderney Gambling Control Commission

alderney-regulators-segregate-player-fundsThe Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), which was widely criticized after the failure of its former licensee Full Tilt Poker (FTP) resulted in millions of dollars in player deposits vanishing into the ether, has published amendments to its gaming regulations that would require operators to properly segregate player funds from operating capital. Following the FTP debacle, the AGCC enlisted the former chairman of the UK Gambling Commission, Peter Dean, to conduct a review of its actions. That review ultimately cleared the AGCC of any wrongdoing, however, the ill will the brouhaha bred among players was sufficiently vehement for the AGCC to announce this March that is was “in advanced stages of implementing a new approach towards the protection of player funds.”

Under the new guidelines (viewable in full here), a Category 1 AGCC licensee “who holds funds standing to the credit of a registered customer … shall at all times hold such funds in a bank account which (a) exists solely for the purpose of holding, and holds only, funds standing to the credit of the licensee’s registered customers, and (b) is separate from any other bank account which does not satisfy the requirements of paragraph (a).” So far, so good, but the AGCC may “at its discretion, waive the requirement” to keep funds separate “where a person has provided a written guarantee” to (a) make players whole at a later date, should the licensee find itself temporarily unable to do so, and (b) maintain sufficient funds on hand to make (a) possible.

Licensees will also have to submit a monthly report to the AGCC detailing the amount of customer funds on deposit and the bank accounts in which they reside, including accounts held by any associate of the licensee that may contain player funds. Finally, the licensee has to spell out in explicit detail to customers “the potential risks associated with funds … in the event of the insolvency” of the licensee “or any of its associates.” The new regs were made effective July 24, but existing operators will have until Oct. 31 to submit a plan for how they intend to go about implementing the necessary changes, with compliance expected by the end of the year.

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