Online Poker Companies to Buy Full Tilt Poker?

Poker Rooms | estimated reading time
2011. August 15.
According to <em>Canadian-Poker.ca</em>, , a number of poker companies are interested in purchasing <em>Full Tilt Poker</em>, for example <em>Bwin.Party</em> and <em>iPoker</em> network owner <em>Playtech</em>.
On 29th June, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) suspended the operational licence of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) and the room has since been completely unavailable to players. The main reason behind this was that FTP failed to pay its US players whose money was left on its closed accounts after Black Friday, about $150 million in total. This was in violation with the AGCC licence agreement.

A couple of days later, first news surfaced about a group of prospective European investors who were interested in buying FTP. Negotiations has been going on since, but no deal has been reached as of yet.

Full Tilt Poker

On the AGCC hearing held 26th July at the Park Plaza Victoria Hotel in London, the room was able to negotiate a moratorium until 15th September, under the condition that they needed to find investors and secure payment of their debts. In addition, FTP still had licence fees worth £250.000 overdue, which they promised to pay to AGCC.

FTP has already paid the £250.000 and, according to Canadian-Poker.ca, it is likely to have come from the new investors, with whom an agreement might be imminent. Although it has previously been reported that the mysterious group of investors come from the financial sector, instead of the poker industry, Canadian-Poker.ca spokesman Leon Daniels concludes that it is 888 Poker, Bwin.Party and iPoker owner Playtech who are interested in purchasing FTP.

According to Daniels, these companies are likely to be the prospective investors as they all lost a considerable number of players, abandoning the US market post-UIGEA, and now they could win them back, which would likely be worth them even covering the debts of FTP. Considering these are stable, well-funded companies, this should not be a problem.

Many believe that even PokerStars, the greatest rival can be interested, which would mean a total dominance for them in the industry, while if another company bought FTP, the competition would once again be stiff, if not downright dangerous for PS. Daniels, however, does not believe they would think that way:

“I don’t believe PokerStars, formerly a huge presence in the online poker world, is a potential investor. Black Friday and subsequent investigations seem to have PokerStars’ hands full at the moment. While they’re faring better than Full Tilt by far, they still have to deal with the authorities,” he stated.

Regardless, it would also seem that no other than Phil Ivey contacted the investors; this would once again suggest that, whoever they may be, they are less likely from the financial area and more probably from the poker industry.

In case a deal was not made until the 15th September deadline given by the AGCC, it is widely accepted that FTP would be given even more time. And, if they were not and AGCC permanently suspended their licence, the Commission would most certainly still issue a new one, once FTP found an investor and secured the conditions for stable operation. This basically means that FTP is expected by almost all to return to the market, even though if they fail to do so until 15th September, they are in for yet another procedure that will take months.

Full Tilt Poker has still not issued any official statement considering the negotiations; the last bits of information regarded the firing of their employees all around but at their HQ in Ireland. This is, however, not necessarily bad news for the players as it might well mean that FTP intends to clear up the mess around its own household, preparing for the purchase, eliminating its unnecessary and costly liabilities.

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