Since the events of April 15th in which the operators of three major U.S.-facing poker rooms were indicted, much ado has been made about Full Tilt Poker’s poor (or basically non-existent) public relations strategy. The site, which owes an estimated $150 million to their U.S. player base and untold millions more to players from other parts of the world, has made very few public statements on their current financial situation. Players have been left almost entirely in the dark while waiting to see the fate of the money they trusted to the site.
This week, Full Tilt made a rare public statement regarding their talks with investors to sell their assets in order to raise money to repay players. Here is the statement in its entirety:
On August 16, Irish based Pocket Kings Ltd., brand executor for the Full Tilt Poker moniker, concluded the exclusivity period of negotiations with their current potential investor.
While Pocket Kings Ltd. plans to continue discussions with its current investor, the company has now begun negotiations with additional potential investors to conclude the sale/partnership of the Full Tilt Poker brand and its assets.
Full Tilt Poker apologizes for its lack of communication with its customers over the last month and a half, but it has been grappling with unexpected and complex legal and financial issues arising from Black Friday and its aftermath. In addition, the company has had to be circumspect about disclosing the progress of negotiations with potential investors because there is often a requirement of strict confidentiality.
To the extent that it can do so without jeopardizing future opportunities, Full Tilt Poker will strive to have better communication with its customers going forward. Full Tilt Poker’s number one priority remains the same: to secure an infusion of capital to repay all of its worldwide customers.
It’s hard to say for sure, but this seems like bad news for players. Clearly, a deal with their major potential investor has not been reached. One might also speculate that if a deal were imminent, the investors would insist on an extension of the exclusivity agreement. That the exclusivity agreement was allowed to expire, and that they are allegedly talking with other investors, is not exactly a good sign for players hoping to receive the money they have on the site.
We predicted in our latest Weekly Shuffle that no investor in their right mind will fork over the hundreds of millions needed to repay players and take over ownership of the site. As more time passes with no clearly positive news out of the Full Tilt camp, that prediction gains strength.