by Wendeen H. Eolis
No formal confirmations of additional investors yet, but the noise is ever louder today; Group Bernard Tapie has lined up at least one moneyman "ready to punt." According to several generally informed sources familiar with weeks of efforts to raise more funds, GBT has locked up a commitment with at least one and maybe two substantial participants to nail the acquisition of the Full Tilt brand. Additional funding might not be crucial, but for Tapie's reluctance to put in more capital of his own than suits his taste.
A lawyer close to one purported investor says, "The deal should get done." He estimates the time table for a re-launch of the FTP site as before the end of the first quarter." Another lawyer, with strong ties in the current Full Tilt brouhaha says; "The die is cast; Full Tilt is effectively out of control; the deal is now unstoppable unless Tapie fails to deliver the necessary checks to the Court."
Still there are plenty of Doubting Thomases who say the proverbial fat lady will not ever sing as part of a harmonized Tapie-Full Tilt DOJ chorus. The cynics point to the fact that no additional investors have yet been identified, publicly. And they remind us, as if we didn't know--the process by which American based customers will have to seek compensation is yet to be resolved.
We do know through one source with direct knowledge that "At the end of the day, reimbursement of player funds is an issue for the Department of Justice in Washington, not the US Attorney in New York."
"The Government does care about players who have been victimized by Full Tilt's insolvency, says one very well connected former federal prosecutor. He adds, "To the extent they are owed monies and there are monies that can be made available for reimbursing them, I fully expect the DOJ to do the right thing, here "
Unless there is a deal, Full Tilt customers could be completely out of luck. With a deal, the smart money is betting large that the Justice Department is prepared to pay out proven claims, at least up to the 80 million dollars it receives from the "sale" of Full Tilt."
Editor’s Note: Wendeen Eolis is CEO of Eolis International Group a legal consultancy with specialized experience in the gaming space. She has served as a senior advisor to Governor George E Pataki and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Her public service initiatives include advisory roles to federal and international agencies. Wendeen was the first woman to cash in the main event of the World Series of Poker and is a proponent of licensed, taxed and regulated commercial, tribal, and online gaming.