Full Tilt Poker Going French?

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Full Tilt Poker may not be wiped off the face of the online poker map after all. A French business tycoon by the name of Bernard Tapie appears to be buying the beleaguered site, despite its financial and legal troubles.

Full Tilt Poker is the defendant in at least two class action lawsuits, one from U.S. complainants and one from Canadian complainants. It allegedly owes dislodged U.S. players funds to the tune of $390 million, only $60 million of which it actually possesses, according to statements in New York by federal prescutors. The site’s owners face criminal charges of money laundering and allegations by prosecutor Preet Bharara of being a Ponzi scheme. Most recently Full Tilt Poker had its gambling license revoked by the Alderney Gaming Commission in the British Isles. Yet Tapie is willing to take all this on.

Besides being a big business tycoon, Bernard Tapie is also a French actor, Addidas sportswear tycoon and former government minister. Laurent Tapie, managing director of Groupe Bernard Tapie, announced that the group has already signed an exclusive sale agreement with the Full Tilt Poker board of directors. The purchase includes both the company as well as all of its assets.

For its part, Full Tilt Poker announced that part of the sale agreement included plans to reimburse those U.S. players their seized funds. Full Tilt pointed out how Tapie bought Adidas in 1990 and then turned them around to profitability. Tapie plans to do the same thing with Full Tilt Poker.