The Dikshit May Hit Proverbial Fan and Net Other Founders in Full Tilt Poker

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Anurag Dikshit surmised on Monday that the US Justice Department may want to widen its net and seek other Full Tilt Poker founders in hopes of securing a fine that would match that paid by PartyGaming co-founder Anurag Dikshit as part of a settlement agreement.  Those other “founders” could include the so-called shareholders, the poker pros like Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, et al.

The U.S. got a combined $450M in fines as part of the Party settlement ($300M from Dikshit and $150M from Party).  PartyGaming was never charged with any wrongdoing but sought to prevent future prosecution for its operating in the United States during a “grey period” related to online poker. 

Sportingbet also elected to settle with the US Justice Department many months later and only paid a fraction of the fines Party settled for. 

Stuart Slotnick, attorney for Sportingbet, told at the time he was elated by the final outcome.  And why not?  Sportingbet only paid a mere $33 million compared to the $450 million paid by Party.

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“We believe that the news of the settlement was favorable for several reasons. One is the fact that Sportingbet received a Non-Prosecution Agreement from the Department of Justice. This was very important because that meant that Sportingbet will never be charged with a crime by the Department of Justice for it’s United States facing Internet gaming operations. It’s also important because Sportingbet did not have to appear in court in the United States and the Department of Justice agreed not to prosecute them. That was a very favorable outcome and additionally the forfeiture of $33 million was clearly viewed as a positive factor in the settlement judging from the reaction of the gambling world and the market.”

WickedChopsPoker made an ominous prediction:

We are at the point where Full Tilt Poker never operating again is a real possibility. Sources have told us that negotiations between Ivey’s White KnightTM and the DoJ is currently the biggest hold-up. What Full Tilt/Ivey’s White Knight is offering isn’t cutting it for the DoJ. They want more. And they have reasons to expect more.

Indeed, on Monday evening FTP announced its talks with mysterious European investors had fallen through. 

And that number the DOJ might want?

It’s probably a whole lot more than what PartyGaming ended up paying.

Full Tilt, unlike Party, has been indicted.  They were also operating in the US for a number of years after PartyGaming exited the market, presumably taking in hundreds of millions, if not billions, more in revenue.

- Chris Costigan, Publisher