According to the latest news, a huge percentage of Full Tilt Poker players waiting for a refund will get nothing when the company’s potential investors have completely pulled it to its feet. Groupe Bernard Tapie, an investment company based in France, is about to purchase Full Tilt Poker in a bid to rejuvenate it. Full Tilt Poker was driven out of the US poker market following the events of Black Friday and shortly thereafter, it lost its licenses to provide online poker services in the European market.
While it is true that Groupe Bernard Tapie is mulling over the idea of offering equity in Full Tilt Poker to ex players, only players with large sums of money in their accounts might get a share, not the huge majority of players who had small amounts. According to a London-based source, “Several bigger players left this deal alone precisely because of Full Tilt Poker’s liabilities. A rescue bid would have to recognize that and place an upper-limit on potential payments, or it simply isn’t a viable business.” Since Tapie is a sensible investment firm, it will work at reducing liabilities and might place a limit on how many players it will compensate.
Currently, Full Tilt Poker has been sued by the US federal government, which is seeking fines of as much as $1 billion for its alleged money laundering and bank fraud activities. Ever since Black Friday, the day on which the US Department of Justice (DoJ) seized its domain name and indicted its executives on various counts of money laundering, bank fraud, and illegal gambling, US players have been unable to access their accounts. Reportedly, over $300 million belonging to poker players all over the globe is locked up in Full Tilt Poker’s frozen accounts.
The investment firm seeking to purchase Full Tilt Poker might provide equity to only players who have over $10k in their accounts, writing off a major portion of the amount owed to poker players with lesser amounts in their accounts.
The proposed purchase of Full Tilt Poker is being handled by Laurent Tapie, the son of French entrepreneur Bernard Tapie, who owns Groupe Bernard Tapie. The company had previously owned shares of Olympique Marseille, the football club, and Adidas, the sportswear company.
Last month, the US government accused Full Tilt Poker of cheating players of over $440 million and paying it to board members and professional poker players.