Wednesday, April 25, 2012
It's just been unofficially announced that industry giants Pokerstars have completed the purchase of Full Tilt Poker for $750m. This includes a $330m settlement with the U.S Department of Justice and the full return of player balances. A forum thread appeared on TwoPlusTwo.com (the world's largest poker site) just hours ago entitled:
"Big News: PokerStars Purchases FTP(?)"
UPDATE: Rumoured sabotage. Laurent Tapie confirms deal is off for FTP buyout and insinuates external sabotage over DOJ negotiations. These are rumours with no credible sources at this time. Tom Victor at EGR reported GBT as saying "our efforts to obtain final DOJ approval to acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker have ended without success". Unnamed inside sources confirm the rumours.
At first the thread was initially removed as unsubstantiated gossip, that was until respected forum moderator 'NoahSD' reported that various inside sources contacted him asking to 'undelete' the thread. Since then, various people have tweeted the news and no Stars representatives have come forward denying the takeover, which is what you would expect had the news been nonsense.
Power play by Stars. If true, the takeover is a powerful statement of intent from Pokerstars that they fully intend to cement their current market dominance outside of the U.S in anticipation of wide-spread American inter-state legislation later this year.
More to follow on this story as it breaks...
Scotty's take: I believe there is something to this rumor, more than something. Tweets from @igamingfrance have confirmed they have been communicating with the Bernard Tapie Group, who had been negotiating with the the U.S. Department of Justice to acquire Full Tilt Poker. IGaming France confirms the Tapie Group is no longer in the running, also reporting they will have a statement later in the day from a representative of the Tapie Group. Alexander Dryfus (CEO of Chili Poker) has also tweeted that PokerStars is buying Full Tilt Poker for a cool $750 million. Part of the deal includes settlement with the DOJ and full balances of current players, estimated at $330 million.
Stay tuned to SCOTTYS BLOG as updates unfold...
ADD 3:50PM : PokerStars has released the following statement, "We've had a lot of enquiries and there's lots of speculation on the forums, so I wanted to address the PokerStars chatter. As you know, PokerStars is in settlement discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice. As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on rumors. As soon as we have information to share publicly we will do so."