Full Tilt Poker’s European Customers Abandon Struggling Poker Site

Full Tilt PokerBeleaguered poker site Full Tilt Poker’s European customers are leaving in droves following the suspension of their license by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) last month.

The most recent weekly report from PokerScout – the independent online poker operator observer – highlights that Full Tilt Poker has witnessed more than half of its players, about 9,300, quitting the site, with approximately 5,000 signing up to rival online poker sites.

However, as a result, other sites have seen an increase in numbers as players also return to their home countries following the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, although many are still in the USA for the main event, which is still running.

Total online poker traffic increased by 3.4% for the week as eight of the leading 10 websites and networks recorded gains.

The AGCC’s suspension of the Full Tilt license on June 29 – when the poker website was considered to have failed to satisfy the AGCC that its activities inside and outside the US were in order” – has seen thousands of European customers leave the troubled operator as the site’s competitors attract disgruntled players with numerous promotional offers.

Furthermore, the AGCC have confirmed that the hearing into the suspension of Full Tilt’s license will be held at the Park Plaza Victoria Hotel in London at 10am on July 26.

André Wilsenach, the AGCC’s executive director, said that the organisation’s “choice to hold a public hearing in to the future of Full Tilt Poker demonstrates our willingness to act transparently – and we will welcome members of the public and the media”.

He added that, “as ever, at all times, our primary concern is the protection of the player”.

Meanwhile, PokerScout’s statistics show that PokerStars remain the largest venue with an increase of 17%, while PartyPoker has taken over in second place – for the first time since 2007 – as they benefit by a huge 35% increase in traffic since Full Tilt’s closure.

The iPoker Network has also seen gains of 24%, 888Poker are not too far behind on 20% as they moved up to fifth from eighth, and the Microgaming Poker Network has moved up three places to eighth with a 7% increase.

The International Poker Network is up by 14% and Cake Poker has seen a 40% increase in traffic. But probably the most impressive stat is Everest Poker’s 46% leap.

Really, this chart has not seen such a shake-up since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) in the United States was introduced as Full Tilt’s customers look for an alternative.

These latest figures must also be a major concern for the website’s potential buyers – an unnamed group of European investors – who are expected to have a deal “on the table” some time this week, according to reports from lawyers working for the fraught poker site.

PartyPoker, iPoker Network and Ongame Network have all moved up one place in the rankings to second, third and fourth respectively, although PokerStars remains the poker website to beat. Additionally, PokerStars.fr has moved up two places to seventh, while PeoplesNetwork.it has taken a hammering in falling 19 places to 26th.

It should also be noted that the global online poker market has been badly hit since the events of ‘Black Friday’, when the US Department of Justice (DoJ) shut down three leading poker sites – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker – in the United States.

PokerScout’s ACES indicator shows that online poker traffic – excluding Italy and France – has dropped by a massive 24% in the past 12 months.

It should also not be forgotten that the French gambling agency, ARJEL (Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne), also suspended Full Tilt’s license within the European nation after players found they were unable to access the website to play for real money. Therefore, many French players have been forced to sign up to France-only networks.