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Party Poker Founder Settles with DOJ

Business, 2008-12-19, by Ozone

The founder of Party Poker, Anurag Dikshit, pled guilty this week in a U.S. court for violating the Wire Act. As part of his settlement, Dikshit agreed to pay a $300 million penalty.

Party Poker used to accept real-money customers from the United States, which the Department of Justice says was a violation of the Wire Act. Although that could conceivably be proven otherwise in a trail, Dikshit voluntarily traveled to the U.S. to make this settlement. His reasons for doing so are not entirely clear. Apparently, Dikshit viewed a forfeiture of $300 million to absolve himself of legal troubles with the U.S. government to be worthwhile.

On news of this, PartyGaming's share price rose 27%. Dikshit's settlement paves the way for the company itself to clear its name with the DOJ. If this happens, it could make PartyGaming more appealing as a potential asset acquisition for U.S. businesses. Furthermore, it could make a re-entrance to the U.S. market more feasible for Party Poker should online poker become regulated.

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