PokerStars Weighs Up Full Tilt Purchase BenefitsApril 29, 2012 12:08 pm
A few days ago, news that the $80 million deal to purchase Full Tilt Poker by Groupe Bernard Tapei (GBT) had fallen through was immediately followed by the startling revelation that PokerStars had now stepped into the frame and was negotiating with the US Department of Justice in a deal worth $750 million.
The potential deal is rumoured to be part of a wider settlement between PokerStars and the DoJ and since its announcement speculation has been rife as to the reasons why PokerStars might be interested in paying such a huge amount for Full Tilt.
One reason being touted is that the deal would help settle PokerStars outstanding lawsuit with the DoJ much as PartyPoker did back in 2008, thus getting heads of operastion Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate off the hook. As a GBT Press Release stated this week:
“We understand from press reports that the DOJ may have entered into an agreement with PokerStars pursuant to which PokerStars will acquire the FTP assets.If accurate, we can only assume that PokerStars determined that it was willing to accept these legal and financial risks in order to resolve its own legal situation with DOJ.”
The deal would then see PokerStars pardoned, potentially allowing it to partner with a land-based casino and apply for a license to enter the US market in the eventuality of legalisation. Under these circumstances, it has been suggested that PokerStars could even licence out Full Tilt’s software,with a Bodog representative commenting via Facebook:
“I think it has to do with the software. I think they will keep the Full Tilt software ‘clean’ and license it to new operators in regulated states and jurisdictions looking to get into the online poker space.”
A further advantage of the deal would be that the purchase of its one time rival would prevent any other company moving in and taking a reasonable slice of PokerStars’ already considerable market share. Whatever the case may be, the deal going ahead would be a major boost to an army of players with over $300 million stuck on the site, and would give a much needed infusion into the poker economy prior to the WSOP starting in May 27th.