Reportedly, a key issue regarding the purchase of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) by Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) has been resolved. Ever since the French investment company had announced its intention of purchasing the online poker room, they had made it quite clear that the deal depended upon getting into an understanding with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) regarding the fines that might be imposed on FTP’s new owners and the status of FTP funds confiscated by the US government during the past years. Obviously, a suitable arrangement has been made regarding these issues.
Ray Bitar, the CEO of Tiltware, has written an email to FTP board of directors, in which he has expressed his pleasure that the DoJ and GBT have come to an agreement regarding the purchase of FTP. Bitar wrote, “My understanding is the deal provides that in exchange for an agreed upon payment by GBT, and a GBT commitment to assume responsibility for payment of ROW players, DoJ will reimburse US players and settle the outstanding civil litigation with the companies comprising FTP. Beyond these conditions, issues like the time frame and process for repayment of players remain unclear at this point and time.”
He further wrote, “With DoJ’s consent now in hand, GBT may now proceed to finalize an agreement to acquire the companies or assets that comprise FTP. That agreement will very likely address the status of your shares or interests in the successor company. When I receive that agreement, I will coordinate with our attorneys to ensure the terms of that proposed agreement will be shared with the membership and voted on.”
Since the DoJ had issued a statement, even before GBT announced that they intended to take over FTP, that it may repay FTP debts, the latest news does not surprise online poker players, who feel that the deal benefits only FTP and GBT, not ex FTP players. The DoJ has not yet confirmed the agreement; moreover, Full Tilt Poker’s shareholders need to cast votes on whether FTP takeover by GBT is acceptable.
If the DoJ decides to repay the online poker giant’s debts, ex FTP players will have to declare their poker bankrolls and pay taxes to Uncle Sam on their poker winnings. International FTP players are still in a fog regarding how much of their money will be refunded in the form of shares and how much will be deducted as withdrawal penalty.