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Forbes on Why Full Tilt Poker Can’t Pay: Massive Theft and US Cash Seizures

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/30/2011
Full Tilt Poker

Forbes.com reported on Full Tilt Poker’s statement Tuesday elaborating further on why it has failed to pay back customers millions of dollars. 

The one-time second largest online poker room in the world claims it was robbed by a payment processor in addition to funds being seized by the US Government on April 15 as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering and bank fraud.  They blame everybody but themselves. 

The US Government contends FTP can and should pay out its customers, implying these funds should have been segregated. 

The statement read: 

“As is obvious from the events that have transpired since April 15th, Full Tilt Poker was not prepared for the far-reaching, US government enforcement effort of Black Friday,” Full Tilt said in a statement. “Full Tilt Poker never anticipated that the DOJ would proceed as it did by seizing our global domain name and shutting down the site worldwide.”

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Alas, the US Government hardly had anything to do with Full Tilt Poker being shut down worldwide.  In fact, FTP continued to reign as the number two largest Internet card room months following its exit from the US market.

Its licensing arm, the Alderney Gaming Control Commission (AGCC) eventually pulled the plug on Full Tilt Poker’s worldwide operations on June 29 after it had failed to pay back US customers while slow paying others across the globe.

From Forbes.com:

The company claims it was the victim of a massive heist in which one of its key payment processors stole $42 million from the company. “Until April 15th, Full Tilt Poker had always covered these losses so that no player was ever affected,” the company said, adding that it experienced “unprecedented issues with some of its third-party processors that greatly contributed to its financial problems.”

This begs the question, if FTP knew all of this was going on, could they not have found a better way to protect their assets.

Competitor PokerStars was indicted on the same day as Full Tilt and has since paid out all its customers.  Cry us all a river.  So this makes it okay for Full Tilt Poker to stiff its customers? 

The company is now claiming a total of six different investment groups have visited its office and that they have hired a financial advisor to “assist us in our search for an infusion of cash as well as a new management team to restore the site and repay players.”

Surely the software and customer list (especially if players get paid) still has some value.  The brand itself might be too late to salvage.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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