The Full Tilt Poker saga continued moving towards its conclusion this week when company executives Ray Bitar, Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer and Rafe Furst signed waivers of service for the Department of Justice (DOJ).

While Bitar has been in the DOJ crosshairs for some time, Ferguson, Lederer and Furst were only added as defendants in the case in September. That’s also when US Attorney Preet Bharara referred to Full Tilt as a, “global Ponzi scheme,” rather than a legitimate gaming company.

What Is a Waiver of Service?

Simply stated, a waiver of service is formal acknowledgement by a defendant of the complaint or charges lodged against him by the state. Its main purpose is to free the parties in the case from the expense of serving a summons and/or a formal presentation of the charges in court.

In this case, signed waivers of service are another indication that Full Tilt executives are cooperating with DOJ officials. Earlier this month, Full Tilt officials worked out a deal with the DOJ to reimburse American players funds that were frozen on Black Friday. That deal is helping pave the way for the company’s sale to Group Bernard Tapie (GBT). Absolute Poker is also thought to be close to working out a reimbursement plan with the Feds as well.

The Big Picture

Full Tilt, PokerStars and other eGaming companies have a vested interest in cooperating with DOJ officials. Beside the short term goals, such as moving forward with sales and other business, they’re slowly building a case for legalized poker. Though the DOJ classifies poker as a game of chance, not every federal official thinks the same way. Poker industry lobbying efforts are slowly, but surely, moving forward and a willingness to help clear up the events surrounding Black Friday can only help their cause.

Will Full Tilt’s cooperation with the DOJ help pave the way for legalized online poker? Let us know in the Online Gaming Newswire forum.


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