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This Week in Gambling - News
This Week in Gambling - News
News for Online Gambling, Land Based Casinos, and Social Gaming
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Full Tilt Poker’s Bitar Can Be Released on Bond Judge Rules

Full Tilt Poker’s Bitar Can Be Released on Bond Judge Rules | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

Full Tilt Poker founder Raymond Bitar and Nelson Burtnick, head of payment processing, were named in a new indictment alleging they defrauded customers to conceal the firm’s cash-poor condition after charges were filed last year.


Prosecutors said that even after Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara unsealed the initial indictment against the two men and nine others in April 2011, Bitar and Burtnick conspired to lie to customers about the security of the funds. The U.S. also filed a related civil suit against the company and other online poker companies as well as payment processors last year.


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PokerStars Issues Comment on Rumored Full Tilt Poker Acquisition

PokerStars Issues Comment on Rumored Full Tilt Poker Acquisition | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars, issued a statement at 3:40 pm ET regarding the rumored acquisition of Full Tilt Poker by PokerStars.


It’s what Hollreiser does not say that speaks volumes:


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.


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Two Full Tilt directors named in new lawsuit

Two Full Tilt directors named in new lawsuit | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it



Two of Full Tilt’s directors - Howard Lederer and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson - were specifically pointed in the lawsuit...


There doesn’t appear to be any respite in sight for Full Tilt Poker, especially after it has once again been hit with another class-action lawsuit from disgruntled online poker players. This time around, two of Full Tilt’s directors – Howard Lederer and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson – were specifically pointed in the lawsuit, alleging that both poker pros ”exercised unlawful dominion and control” over millions of dollars in players’ funds in their Full Tilt accounts.


According to the lawsuit, Lederer and Ferguson received a combined amount of around $130 million in distributions and “profit sharing” payment, some of which may have come in the form of loans. The lawsuit also adds that the defendants “approved distributions and loans to the other owners of Full Tilt Poker from funds directly traceable to the player accounts. The distributions and loans to Lederer, Ferguson and the other Full Tilt Poker owners were from intermingled funds containing monies from the player accounts.”


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Full Tilt Applies for New License, Seeks Employees

Full Tilt Applies for New License, Seeks Employees | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
A whole new round of speculation about the future of Full Tilt Poker is on the horizon following a wave of new information from its subsidiaries.


In addition to applying for a full license with the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, the company is seeking to hire dozens of short term employees to fill a number of different positions.As reported by pokerfuse, Full Tilt is applying to expand the one license it held with the AGCC that was not revoked during hearings in July 2011. The license is held by Full Tilt subsidiary Orinic Limited and is currently classified as a “Category 1″ license, one that does not allow them to hold gaming funds. While Orinic avoided revocation of their license, they have only recently completed a six-month suspension of said license.


In an application filed March 23, Orinic is seeking a “Category 2″ license with the AGCC that will allow the company to offer full scale online gaming services. There is currently a 14-day window in which those opposing the licensing of the company may submit a written objection with an explanation as to why they feel the company should not be licensed.

With the process of applying for a new license in progress, another of Full Tilt’s subsidiaries is currently in the process of hiring a number of new employees. Pocket Kings Ltd, perhaps the most well known of the Full Tilt subsidiaries, is hiring for various positions related to customer service and IT on a temporary basis.


Among the jobs listed is a posting for “Localization Specialists” who are multi-lingual and have experience in translating marketing materials. Pocket Kings is looking for employees who speak German, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Romanian, Polish, Swedish, Danish, and Czech, and are clearly looking to expand quickly back into many of the markets in which Full Tilt was entrenched in the past. Each contract is for 2-3 months with the potential of a more permanent position.


The rest of the new jobs with Pocket Kings are specific customer service positions. They are seeking customer service reps in several different languages, as well as team leaders, supervisors, and quality agents in order to fully staff that office.


There has been no comment as of yet from Bernard Tapie on the current status of Full Tilt.

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Full Tilt Poker Subsidiary Withdraws Licence Application

Full Tilt Poker Subsidiary Withdraws Licence Application | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

Amid rumors surrounding PokerStars and the purchase of Full Tilt Poker comes a media release from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) stating that Orinic, a Full Tilt Poker/Pocket Kings related company, has withdrawn its application for a Category 2 eGambling licence.


Only a week or so ago, there was much talk and curiosity about the new licence application, and now that it has been withdrawn, there will be no public hearing on May 3. The formal notice states:


“…Orinic Limited has, pursuant to Regulation 28(1) of the Alderney eGambling Regulations, 2009, withdrawn its application dated 23rd March, 2012 for a Category 2 eGambling licence. Accordingly the public hearing scheduled to take place on Thursday 3rd May, 2012 at the Braye Beach Hotel, Alderney will not now take place.”


At the time other Full Tilt licenses were revoked by the AGCC, Orinic’s was suspended at it was not trading at the time.


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Laurent Tapie’s Name on ‘New Full Tilt Ltd.’ Registration | Online Poker News

Laurent Tapie’s Name on ‘New Full Tilt Ltd.’ Registration | Online Poker News | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it


GBT principal Laurent Tapie's name listed on filings in Malta and Ireland for newly registered companies using Full Tilt in title.




Despite Full Tilt Poker’s self-injected dose of financial formaldehyde a year ago, rumors continue to circulate that FTP’s toes are twitching. Earlier this month, we heard that FTP’s Dublin-based tech arm Pocket Kings was hiring new staff, suggesting real progress had been made in the three-way asset acquisition negotiations between FTP, the US Department of Justice, and French white-knight investors Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT). More recently, a few diehard FTP customers who’ve made a self-flagellating ritual of logging into the site every day reported being presented with a notice asking them to upgrade their software to a numbered release suggesting a more recent vintage. Not all users reported similar experiences, but hope remains that FTP is embarking on some pre-relaunch beta testing.


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Lederer, Ferguson Named in Full Tilt Poker Ponzi Scheme Suit

Lederer, Ferguson Named in Full Tilt Poker Ponzi Scheme Suit | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Two Full Tilt Poker directors were hit with another class-action lawsuit Thursday by online poker players upset because they can’t withdraw funds from the company.



Two Full Tilt Poker directors were hit with another class-action lawsuit Thursday by online poker players upset because they can’t withdraw funds from the company.


Attorneys for four lead class-action plaintiffs filed suit in federal court in Las Vegas against Full Tilt directors Howard Lederer and Chris ''Jesus'' Ferguson, alleging conversion.


The lawsuit complains that before and after ''Black Friday'' — nearly one year ago on April 15, 2011 — Lederer and Ferguson ''exercised unlawful dominion and control'' over players’ funds in Full Tilt accounts.


It was Black Friday when federal prosecutors unveiled a crackdown and criminal fraud charges against online poker sites Full Tilt, PokerStars and Absolute Poker.


Later in 2011, the government claimed Full Tilt ''was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme.''


Thursday’s lawsuit in Las Vegas focused on the Ponzi scheme allegation, charging U.S. players have been wrongfully denied access to some $150 million in their Full Tilt accounts in part because of the actions of Lederer and Ferguson.


The lawsuit claims Lederer received some $42 million in distributions and ''profit sharing'' payments, some of which was loaned from Full Tilt and may or may not be outstanding; while Ferguson similarly received $85 million, some of which may have been in the form of loans.


''Additionally, defendants approved distributions and loans to the other owners of Full Tilt Poker from funds directly traceable to the player accounts,'' the lawsuit says. ''The distributions and loans to Lederer, Ferguson and the other Full Tilt Poker owners were from intermingled funds containing monies from the player accounts.''


The suit seeks a court order requiring the defendants to refund players their money and punitive damages.

The lead plaintiffs in Thursday’s suit are poker players Steve Segal of New York, Nick Hammer and Robin Hougdahl of Minnesota and Todd Terry of New Jersey.


The same four players last year filed a class-action suit against Lederer, Ferguson and other Full Tilt officials and corporate entities in New York alleging racketeering because of an alleged pattern of bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering; but in January a federal judge found that court lacked jurisdiction over the individual Full Tilt defendants.


In trying to establish jurisdiction for the new Nevada lawsuit, the players’ attorneys cited ''diversity jurisdiction'' in which all parties are residents of different states; and ''personal jurisdiction'' and ''venue'' because Lederer lives in Nevada, Ferguson has ''conducted substantial business'' within Nevada and ''because many of the wrongs and acts complained of herein were contemplated and executed by defendants in this district.''


The Full Tilt defendants have not yet answered the new Las Vegas lawsuit, but they’ve denied similar allegations in other suits including one filed in October in Los Angeles by different poker players.

The Los Angeles lawsuit names not just Lederer and Ferguson, but also Full Tilt CEO Raymond Biter and celebrity players including Phil Ivey.


Besides the New York and Las Vegas cases involving Segal and his three co-plaintiffs, and the Los Angles case; there are three other federal civil suits pending against Full Tilt and its officials involving different plaintiffs in New York.


One of those plaintiffs is the United States, which in an amended complaint in September unveiled the Ponzi scheme allegations against the company. The government claims that as of March 31, 2011, Full Tilt Poker owed about $390 million to players around the world, including about $150 million to U.S. players, but had only about $60 million in its bank accounts.


Thursday’s Las Vegas lawsuit was filed by attorneys at the firm Shook & Stone Chtd. In Las Vegas and the firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP in New York.

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