Look Back: Full Tilt Poker in 2011Published December 31, 2011 by OCR Editor
Online poker room has had traumatic year, but 2012 can only get better for players.
2011 was not a good year for Full Tilt Poker, what with the events of Black Friday, the subsequent revocation of their license and their inability to pay funds owed to players. But there is hope things will get better next year, if the poker room's sale to a French investor is any indication.
In what has since become known as Black Friday, US prosecutors filed criminal and civil charges against officials from Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker on April 15. The founders of the three online poker sites were charged with alleged bank fraud, illegal gambling offences and money laundering.
In the aftermath, PokerStars struck a deal to return money sitting in player accounts, but Full Tilt's operations were shut down completely in June, leaving thousands of poker players around the world unable to access money credited to them in their accounts. FTP still faces claims from prosecutors of operating a $443 million "global Ponzi scheme."
Things got even worse in October when FTP had its licensed stripped by gambling regulators in the British Channel island of Alderney, after being found to have misled officials about financial operations.
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission said Full Tilt reported balanced that US authorities had seized as liquid funds, and also gave unauthorized loans. Full Tilt said the decision made it more difficult to carry through with a sale and to repay players still owed millions in funds.
Light at End of Tunnel
The latest news in the deal between Full Tilt Poker and French investor Groupe Bernard Tapie is that the two have agreed to transfer assets, which bring us one step closer to seeing the poker room repay its players.
Under the deal, GBT will acquire Full Tilt from the US Department of Justice for $80 million. In return, US authorities will dismiss civil complaints against the poker site. Charges will remain against FTP officials indicted after the events of Black Friday, but for players this means a possible repayment of funds is on the horizon in the new year.