One of the largest and most-respected online poker licensing boards (at least before the Full Tilt poker debacle which occurred after Black Friday) is the Aldernay Gambling Control Commission. This past week the AGCC released a lengthy regulations amendment document for 2012, which saw several minor tweaks to their current practices, and one very significant change that no doubt stems from the aforementioned fiasco with Full Tilt poker, which is still unfolding to this day.
In the 12 page document the AGCC revealed that it will now call upon all licensed online poker rooms to keep player deposits in a segregated account:
Funds standing to the credit of registered customers
230A. (1) Subject to paragraph (2), a Category 1 eGambling licensee or an assocxiate of a Category 1 eGambling licensee who holds funds standing to the credit of a registered customer pursuant to regulation 230 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).
The new rue being implemented by the AGCC could right the ship of a struggling industry that many customers have lost complete faith in, from the poker sites to the regulatory boards, and should be the gold standard from here on out.
It should be noted that the AGCC does hold the right to waive the segregated funds requirement if the licensee can provide a written guarantee that they have the means to cover all of the depositors’ funds or demonstrate that they maintain the required funds at all times. So while this is definitely a step in the right direction there appears to be a major loophole allowing AGCC licensees to maintain the status quo based on a written agreement –which doesn’t mean all that much when bankruptcy is an option.
That said, another strengthening of the current regulations will call for AGCC licensees to submit monthly reports of all player funds on deposit and the accounts in which those deposits currently reside. Licensees will also have to make it explicitly clear to their players the risks involved in the “event of insolvency.”
These rules went into effect on July 24, 2012, but current AGCC operators will have until the end of October to enact the above policies. You can read the entire amendment to the regulations report here: http://www.gamblingcontrol.org/userfiles/file/Ald%20eGambling%20(Amendment)%20Regulations,%202012.pdf
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