Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars: What Does It All Mean?
Last week was a busy one for online poker news. Unfortunately, most of the action took place in backroom meetings and not on the poker table. Poker’s big week began with news that the Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) had withdrawn from negotiations with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and quickly dissolved into a swirl of unsubstantiated rumors.
Here’s what we know so far and what it all means for affiliates”
GBT and DOJ Not BFFs
One thing that’s definitely certain is that negotiations between the GBT reps and the DOJ broke down over issues surrounding player account repayments. The key issue wasn’t whether players would be refunded, but how quickly that repayment would take place. GBT wanted players to be able to withdraw funds slowly and the DOJ wanted it happen within 90 days.
PokerStars to Step In?
This surprise development set social media and gaming forums ablaze with rumors that Poker Stars would be stepping in to purchase Full Tilt assets, including player accounts, for a staggering $750 million. PokerStars officials responded to those rumors by saying that they couldn’t really comment. So what’s happening there is a matter of debate.
There’s no reason to think that Poker Stars wouldn’t want to purchase Full Tilt’s assets. After all, they’d gain plenty of good will in the online poker world if they repaid those player accounts. That’s to say nothing of the value of getting some good will from the DOJ.
Having trouble keeping up with the Full Tilt story? Check out our Full Tilt Poker Timeline.
What Does It All Mean?
For affiliates, and players, who have been waiting to get back into the US market, efforts to revive Full Tilt have been maddeningly slow. It seems safe to say that PokerStars is making some sort of effort to buy the troubled firm, but its far too early to tell whether that will pan out or not.
One big question is how players will react should to restored funds in their accounts? Will they keep playing as if nothing happened? Or will they take the money and run? (If that’s even an option.)
Another scenario is that a restored Full Tilt partners with a US gaming company in one of the states considering legalization.
Whatever scenario is correct, it’s safe to say that the Full Tilt story is far from its conclusions.
How do the you think the Full Tilt deal is going to play out? Share your thoughts with the CAP community on our Online Gambling Laws & Regulations Forum.