iGaming News: Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars

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SBR newswoman Natalie Rydström provides an iGaming news update. This week's headlines consist of an update on the recent twitter controversy surrounding Poker Stars potential acquisition of Full Tilt Poker, as well as a disgraced CEO out on bail awaiting federal charges for violating the UIGEA, and more.

LST Financial, a financial processing firm based in Texas, has agreed to forfeit more than $6 million of funds connected with illegal online gambling charges in a settlement with the feds. According to EGR, LST processed these funds for a company owned in part by Ryan Lang, a Black Friday indictee. The US Government will now reportedly return funds frozen which were not related to the online gambling charges.

Poker Stars communication head Eric Hollreiser has shot down claims that Poker Stars potential acquisition of Full Tilt has fallen through. On Thursday, an ex Party Gaming legal advisor tweeted the following:

“Pokerstars folds on FTP deal. Never real deal, just bluff to prevent Tapie from bringing FTP back to market – great bargaining chip with DOJ,”

Any potential deal would be subject to repayment of Full Tilt Player balances, which is reportedly around $330 million.
Speaking of Full Tilt Poker, disgraced founder Raymond Bitar is out on 2 and a half million dollars bail, having posted cash and properties, including a warehouse in California, according to a report by CalvinAyre.com. Bitar turned himself in to the FBI last Monday to face the charges against him in Manhattan federal court. Bitar is accused of violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, allegedly laundering funds, and operating what’s referred to in the indictment as a “Ponzi scheme”. Bitar entered a not guilty plea.

Changing gears now, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has pre-approved Shuffle Master Incorporated and Irish sports betting giant Paddy Power for interactive gaming licenses. The two companies must attend a meeting on July 26th with the Nevada Gaming Commission before the licenses become official. SBR reported last month that IGT and Bally Technologies were the first to be granted interactive gaming licenses in the Sin City. Before any cards fly over the internet in Nevada, a rigorous round of testing will be done by independent laborities appointed by the state. This process could take four to six months.

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