Full Tilt and PokerStars Ready to Pay Off US Players?
Are PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker getting ready to announce a timetable for paying back US player accounts? According to a recent posting at iGaming Post, the two companies have indeed reached an agreement with Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and could be making a formal announcement as soon as the end of the month.
Months of Rumors
Thanks to ongoing litigation and constantly changing deals, hard facts surrounding the two beleaguered companies have been hard to come by for the past few months.
Last month a number of gaming news sites, including CalvinAyre.com reported that PokerStars was in negotiations to acquire Full Tilt after a sale to Group Bernard Tapie (GBT) fell through. Though PokerStars officials didn’t confirm the deal, they didn’t exactly deny it either, stating that DOJ deals were confidential.
Whoever winds up buying Full Tilt will also be acquiring a sizable obligation to pay off player accounts, something GBT apparently wasn’t really willing to do. According to reports in the online media, GBT had put a number of hurdles in place for player repayment, including a playthrough requirement and a 5 percent inactivity fee.
Do land-based casinos know who they’re getting in bed with? Check out Online Poker Firms Bring Bad Reputations to New Deals.
High Stakes Game
Taking on FullTilt’s debts will probably wind up costing PokerStars hundreds of millions of dollars, but that’s a small price given the stakes of the online poker market. PokerStars has to make good with the DOJ if they want to get a piece of the soon-to-be-legal US online poker market. Other companies, like 888 and bwin.party have already staked out deals with land based casino companies in Nevada and are getting ready for action.
Before Black Friday, PokerStars had a deal with Wynn casinos to develop an online product. That deal went out the window when the DOJ shut down US facing online poker, but Wynn has yet to announce another online poker deal.
The summer of 2012 is shaping up to be a very interesting time for anyone who follows the online poker world. With intrastate poker likely coming to Nevada before the end of the year, there’s likely to be a continued flurry of wheeling and dealing as poker sites vie for piece of American poker pie. So don’t be too surprised if this deal does turn out to be true.
Do you think that PokerStars and Full Tilt will pay off US player accounts? Let us know on our Online Gambling Laws and Regulations Forum.