US Department of Justice Reaches Deal with Groupe Bernard Tapie

US Department of Justice Reaches Deal with Groupe Bernard Tapie

Posted on 01/11/11 - by Theodor Mavrodis News

The US Department of Justice has agreed to let the acquisition of Full Tilt Poker by Groupe Bernard Tapie continue, with a reported deal in place that could see the return of all funds currently owed to players.

Full Tilt had agreed to be acquired by Groupe Bernard Tapie some weeks back but one of the major hurdles to clear was the insistence by French business tycoon Bernard Tapie that the US government foot part of the bill for refunding players of the online poker site.

Under the terms of the agreement (which has yet to be officially finalized and accepted by Full Tilt shareholders) Groupe Bernard Tapie will assume responsibility of Full Tilt’s debt to non-US players and the US Department of Justice will set up a fund to repay US players.

The total amount owed to players is unknown but various sources estimate the figure to be about $400 million, with about half that reportedly owed to US players.

If the deal is approved by shareholders Groupe Bernard Tapie could quickly move to re-establish Full Tilt once a gaming license was secured; while the Alderney Gambling Control Commission revoked Full Tilt's license it did leave the door open to potentially reinstating it if another owner took over the operations of Full Tilt.

Groupe Bernard Tapie was a surprise candidate to step forward to buy Full Tilt, as some expected a US casino group to make a bid for the company.

Groupe Bernard Tapie has had several successful turnarounds of distressed companies -- most notably that of adidas -- but a potential Full Tilt purchase would be its first foray into the world of online gambling.