Despite several weeks of silence, French investment firm Group Bernard Tapie is still optimistic that a deal with Full Tilt Poker could be struck sometime in the near future.
Over the past week, several incidents have once again opened the lines of communication. Most importantly, it has been reported that negotiations between Groupe Bernard Tapie and the United States Department of Justice are currently taking place.
Behnam Dayanim, an attorney for Groupe Bernard Tapie, commented that negotiations are ongoing. Along with this, it was made clear once again that any deal is contingent on the resolution of all issues with the United States Department of Justice.
Dayanim said, “We’re still working with Full Tilt Poker. We have a signed agreement that allows us to do the things we need to do to ensure we’re comfortable. We’re working productively with that company, but any agreement ultimately depends on resolutions with the DoJ. We have to have that process work its way through to completion, but I’m optimistic right now.”
Like many, you probably have one question on your mind: What’s taking so long? There are two issues holding back a deal that would have Groupe Bernard Tapie take full control of the company.
First and foremost, there is an outstanding civil suit against Full Tilt Poker in which the Department of Justice is seeking $1 billion in damages. Groupe Bernard Tapie is hoping to have this number reduced as it makes no sense for them to take over a company with such a large financial burden – especially one that is currently non-operative.
Secondly, and most importantly to many, Groupe Bernard Tapie is more than likely to ask the Department of Justice for the funds that were seized from players. Reports have this number at anywhere from $115 million to approximately $300 million. Although the exact number is unknown, it is safe to say that Groupe Bernard Tapie will want that money to pay back players who are currently unable to access their funds.
There have been rumors that Groupe Bernard Tapie has already begun to contact European based players by telephone, asking questions regarding the amount of money they had in their Full Tilt account. From there, they offered three options including:
- Rolling over the funds into their new Full Tilt Poker account
- Receiving payment of the funds over an extended period of time
- Cashing out their balance with a penalty for doing so
Players may be responsive to the first and second option, but why should they have to pay a penalty to receive money that was previously taken from them?
As of right now, no deal has been finalized. Unfortunately, this means that former Full Tilt Poker players and affiliates must continue to wait.
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