Online Poker

Full Tilt Poker could gives Stakes to Players

by Jeremy

Just days after news broke that Groupe Bernard Tapie is interested in buying Full Tilt Poker, a rumor is floating around that Tapie might try to solve FTP’s liability problem by offering company stakes to players.

After all, Full Tilt Poker is not only facing a $1 billion civil suit from the US government for bank fraud and money laundering, but also $440 million in missing player deposits. Seeing as how Groupe Bernard Tapie would have to front a large portion of the $1.4 billion-plus in potential liabilities, talk has surfaced about players taking part ownership in the site.

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The Wall Street Journal reported on this matter by writing:

Behnam Dayanim, an attorney for Laurent Tapie, said the family would be prepared to take control of Full Tilt. Mr. Dayanim said it hasn’t been determined how large an investment or stake Groupe Bernard Tapie would make. He confirmed the Tapies may address Full Tilt’s liabilities by offering equity in a revived company to poker players owed the most money.

The family is also seeking new investment from the site’s existing owners, who wouldn’t be involved in managing the company, he said. The Justice Department would have to agree to allow these owners to continue with the company, two people familiar with the negotiations said.

The Tapie proposal requires due diligence of Full Tilt’s financial state. Such a review has been started but hasn’t yet been completed, one of the people said.

It’s certainly not inconceivable to think that Groupe Bernard Tapie would give players a stake in the ailing online poker site because it would prevent them from having to pay hundreds of millions upfront. However, there’s a long way to go with the possible deal, so it will be a while before we truly know what’s going to be done with the company.

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