PokerStars May Be the Answer for Full Tilt

April 28, 2012

Straight out of the Wall Street Journal, PokerStars is now reportedly in negotiations to buy Full Tilt Poker, a solution to both company’s problems with the US Department of Justice.

According to the potential deal, Stars would acquire their rival’s assets, according to someone on the inside. This deal will be part of a bigger civil case settlement brought on by the DOJ by these two online poker entities after the DOJ shut down the two biggest online poker sites serving US players in the US a little over a year ago.

It’s not yet known exactly how much Stars would have to pay for the Full Tilt assets. As tarnished as the brand is since allegations of operating a Ponzi scheme, the Full Tilt brand is one of the most recognized online poker names in the industry, due in part to extensive TV advertisement campaigns that accompanied some of the biggest televised live tournaments in history, not to mention brand over-representation on the bodies.

Another plus of the Full Tilt corporation is its huge database of players, however disgruntled they may be after not receiving the funds held in their accounts after the government shutdown. Though if PokerStars does refund these accounts, perhaps former Full Tilt Poker players will return to their brand loyalty, since they are used to playing on the Full Tilt software that is one of the best in the business.

The deal would include a plan for poker players from all over the world to retrieve those lost funds—around $300 million worth of money is still owed to Full Tilt account holders, about half of that belonging to US players.

PokerStars reps have been investigating the Dublin offices of Full Tilt over the last few days according to sources.

The company stated last Tuesday, “Full Tilt Poker is more optimistic than ever that its number one goal will be obtained: Full Tilt players will be repaid. Full Tilt Poker has been in settlement discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice. As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on any rumors related to the details of those discussions.”

Nor does the US DOJ have any comment at this time, though according to the personal source providing this information, the deal will not likely affect any criminal charges that are pending against PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker execs indicted in last year’s Black Friday takedown.

While at one time, these two brands aggrandized advertising budget was targeted to the US market and towards underlying competition between the two online poker sites, despite government warnings based in the UIGEA, they may just be reconciling their differences for the common good of online poker players of all poker sites, including Full Tilt.

After months and months of negotiations and news releases from Groupe Bernard Tapie, the $80 million deal unfortunately fell through in the end due to indiscrepancies regarding players pay backs, so it is final that GBT buyout is no longer on the table despite the fact that GBT had recentlyreported that a deal was close to finalization.


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