Reports Surface that Full Tilt Contributed to Congressional Campaigns

September 23, 2011

The Boston Globe reported last Wednesday that Democrat representative of Nevada, Shelley Berkley, who has been an advocate for online poker legalization and regulation for quite some time, accepted political contributions from Full Tilt Poker of around $20K. Spokeswoman for Berkley’s US Senate campaign, Jessica Mackler, said that the money would be returned in some way.

Berkley says, “These allegations are extremely troubling and, if true, threaten to unfairly cast a shadow over the entire online poker community thanks to the alleged actions of a few individuals.”

The article also focused attention on Democratic representative from Massachusetts, Barney Frank, also an online poker activist who has over the years proposed multiple bills to Congress regarding the legalization of Internet poker. According to the Boston Globe, Rep. Frank accepted around $18,600 in donations and one more additional contribution is still pending.

Frank and Berkley have received the highest amount of Full Tilt contributions, but others have reportedly received funding.

Earlier in the week, the former online poker site was accused of being a “massive ponzi scheme” by a federal prosecutor, which created quite the buzz among the online poker community. After being charged with money laundering, illegal gambling operations, and fraud in the Black Friday fiasco, Full Tilt Poker hasn’t had a good day yet. Now owing former US players more than $440 million, a new investor is the only thing that could save the once great online poker brand.

Now well-known poker pros and directors of the Full Tilt Poker company, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer, have been added to the civil suit. These two, along with poker player Rafael Furst, also named in the complaint, together gave nearly $200K to various congressional campaigns since 2007.


Comments are closed.