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  • Full Tilt Poker’s Investor has Reached Agreement with DoJ

    Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 by Nadia

Groupe Bernard Tapie, an investment group, has arrived at an agreement with the United States Department of Justice. This agreement could allow the group to take over the debt-ridden online poker room Full Tilt Poker.

What the Agreement Entails

The agreement states that players from within the United States are allowed to seek compensation through the Department of Justice. Full Tilt Poker previously credited $150 million to their accounts but never paid them the sum. The players are not guaranteed that their money will be returned.

According to an agreement that was signed by the attorney of Groupe Bernard Tapie, Behnam Dayanim and assistant U.S. attorney Jason Cowley (Manhattan), the Groupe Bernard Tapie will purchase Full Tilt for $80 million. After the deal has gone through, the company will recommence operations outside the United States.

The agreement will allow for some of the money that was in Full Tilt’s accounts, which was initially seized by the United States government, to be given to the Bernard Tapie group. Taking this into account, the amount that the investment group would actually be paying for Full Tilt’s assets will be approximately $40 million.

What the Deal would Require

The agreement would require the current owners of Full Tilt to reach a settlement with the U.S Department of Justice. A civil lawsuit was filed by the DOJ against the company and according to this the company is forfeited to the government. Groupe Bernard Tapie plans to purchase the assets of the company from the government. The government would then use the funds to repay the players who were owed money by Full Tilt.

The present CEO of Full Tilt, Raymond Bitar, has voiced his support for the deal. His lawyer, Jeff Irah said that it is likely to help re-pay the U.S players who have yet to be compensated by the company. Irah also announced that Bitar wouldn’t profit from the sale of the company or be allowed to have a stake in the new one.

DOJ’s Allegations Against Full Tilt

In April 2011, the DOJ shut down the U.S operations of Full Tilt Poker. The room was rated the second best poker site in the world. The government also shut down the operations of Absolute Poker and PokerStars. Bitar and several others were indicted on criminal charges. The civil suit was valued at $3 billion (against all three companies) and the DOJ demanded $1 billion from Full Tilt.

Based on the allegations leveled at Full Tilt by the government, the company has been accused of money laundering, bank fraud and conducting illegal gaming operations. The company has denied these accusations and has stated that U.S law doesn’t specifically ban online poker. According to U.S law, games of chance have been outlawed and Full Tilt has argued that poker is a game of strategy rather than chance and therefore it is not illegal.

Plans to Re-Pay Players

According to the deal brokered between Groupe Bernard Tapie and the DOJ, the investors will repay the poker players who reside outside the U.S. The company is unable to resume operations in the U.S until the federal law is appealed and online poker is legalized.

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