Full Tilt

Does our Mr. Gillies know more about this?

Full Tilt is alleged to have credited players\’ accounts with $390m (£248m) it did not have, according to a lawsuit filed in New York on Tuesday by the US government.

Full Tilt\’s founder, Raymond Bitar, and other board members are also accused of paying themselves $440m from funds belonging to players between 2007 and April 2011.

\”Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme,\” said US attorney Preet Bharara.

Mr Bitar is already one of 11 defendants named in an April indictment by US authorities seeking $3bn in penalties and alleging crimes including illegal gambling, money laundering and bank fraud.

Absolute Poker and PokerStars, which is based in the Isle of Man, were also among the companies named in the April indictment.

It seems a little confusing to say the least.

On the one side there\’s been the long battle by the US authorities to close all of these companies down. So is this just anouther stage in that?

Or have they really been naughty boys and been playing silly buggers with client monies?

4 thoughts on “Full Tilt”

  1. They seem to be accused of doing two completely opposite things, taking players money for themselves, and giving the players money that didn’t really exist.

    The prosecutor must be a lefty to manage such intellectual acrobatics.

    Funny that creating money from nothing is called QE when done at the behest of politicians, and saves the world, whilst if anyone else does it, we call it a ponzi scheme.

  2. It’s hard to say. But it is, as you say, suspicious that the Feds have been conducting a witch hunt against these companies for years. And given the level of business understanding shown by the prosecutors in Lord Black’s case, I don’t think the Feds should be given much benefit of the doubt.

    Federal prosecutors seem to have too much power. Spitzer, anyone?

  3. Full Tilt are not like the other poker sites. Poker sites operate by accepting money into your account which you then draw on, on a game-to-game basis. Any winnings go into your account. Any losses or game entry fees are deducted. Money can be removed at any time, usually by the same method as it arrived (to prevent laundering).

    When the US Attorney seized the web-sites of the big poker sites in April this year, Poker Stars and others disbursed the players’ money in short order. Full Tilt refused to allow players their money initially, saying they needed time due to the feds being mean to them. In May, Phil Ivey filed a suit against them, though se subsequently withdrew it. The delay has now dragged on and on for months, with little to no communication from Full Tilt. With the recent news I’ve been trying to login to the site, but for one reason or another, I’ve not got on.

    It’s now apparent that the money has disappeared. I had only a few bucks in there, but others had thousands.

  4. Which was the original post?

    I’m only peripherally connected to this through friends and acquaintances, but it has had a deleterious effect on a number of people’s careers. If I were involved in online gambling of any stripe I would not risk setting foot on U.S. soil. AFAIK none of the indicted operations had a significant presence here in CR, but the knock-on effect has been substantial.

    The persecution of non-US companies that are not breaking non-US laws is a breathtaking example of the arrogance and overreach of the DOJ and IRS.

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