PPA Meets with DOJ, Discusses Returning Full Tilt Funds to Players

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The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) met recently with the Department of Justice (DOJ), discussing the fate of Full Tilt Poker and the importance of returning funds to American players. The meeting occurred before Full Tilt announced that an agreement was to be acquired by a French investor group. This acquisition deal will only go through if Full Tilt is able to negotiate an agreeable resolution with the DOJ, which would likely include the DOJ returning most or all of the seized funds from Black Friday.
John Pappas, the executive director at the crypto gambling, said, “We still have an open dialogue with [the DOJ] and look forward to more productive conversations down the road. We plan to follow up to make sure the DOJ gets a guarantee that players get restitution through any deal with new Full Tilt management.” Pappas also commented that the DOJ was receptive when members of the PPA asserted that poker players should be considered victims of Full Tilt Poker, and therefore be compensated for their deposited funds.
The dialogue is productive and amicable, but all poker players must watch these events with a patient eye. The Black Friday case will take a great deal of time to resolve. The paperwork involved in handling player claims is likely massive, and is not going to decrease as the DOJ and Full Tilt consider how to return funds post-acquisition.
“We continue to believe the best and most expedient way to reimburse players is through the sale of Full Tilt contingent on paying back players,” said Pappas. “I think the DOJ would like to preserve as much of the forfeiture money for themselves, but they would view a new company coming in and paying back players as something beneficial to them and the player community.”
It’s been a quiet week in the Gaming Law arena, with Full Tilt Poker’s recent sale owning most of the spotlight. Despite the Alderney Gambling Control Commission’s recent revoke of the site’s primary license, the Bernard Tapie Group was able to reach an acquisition agreement with Full Tilt.
The Bernard Tapie Group is known for buying bankrupt companies and turning them into profitable companies. An example of this is with Adidas, which it owned between 1990 and 1993. In total they have acquired over forty different companies over the thirty years they’ve been in business.
This exclusive agreement between the Bernard Tapie Group and Full Tilt’s board of directors would allows the Bernard Tapie Group to acquire Full Tilt Poker and all its assets. Although it is just an agreement for now, part of the deal is paying back all of Full Tilt’s players. The Bernard Tapie Group is currently in contact with the Department of Justice regarding paying players back.
The Bernard Tapie roup is hoping that the Department of Justice will use seized funds to help pay players. There is suggestion that this might, indeed, be the case in the near future, but for now it is merely speculation.
American Gaming Association Contnues to Push for Regulation
Frank Fahrenkopf, the AGA’s chief executive, continues to be vocal about America’s need for the regulation of online poker. He believes that this is the closest the country has ever been to federal legislation.
In his opinion, it would be best if the states could decide themselves whether or not they will have legal online gambling and require online sites to have licenses. He thinks Congress should scrap pre-existing bills and just pass new legislation allowing this.
The AGA has not backed any of the current bills and is, presumably, waiting for legislation that supports the above suggestion.

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