Two recent developments have bolstered hopes that Full Tilt Poker (FTP) may yet crawl its way out of the hole it dug itself into following the events of Black Friday. FTP has been in protracted discussions with Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) and the US Department of Justice on a deal for GBT to acquire FTP’s assets and relaunch FTP outside the US, although details on how the talks are progressing have been scarce. On Tuesday, FTP’s Dublin-based software backbone Pocket Kings Ltd. posted multiple listings for new staff hires on the jobs.ie recruitment agency website. The notices claimed there was an “urgent” need to fill these positions.
The 14 postings include customer service representatives with multilingual skills (desired languages include Romanian, Hungarian, German, Dutch, Russian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish). The jobs are described as “2-3 month contract roles” that have the possibility of becoming permanent hires. Pocket Kings shed a good chunk of its workforce in October following the decision of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) to revoke FTP’s operating license.
The AGCC has posted a notice that Orinic Limited, the only FTP subsidiary not to have its license revoked by the AGCC in September, has applied for a Category 2 eGambling License (h/t to PokerFuse.com for spotting the application). Orinic previously held a limited Category 1 license, but the broader Category 2 license would permit the company to effect online gambling transactions. Orinic had been serving a six-month AGCC-imposed license suspension, which recently expired. The application was filed March 23, meaning the 14-day window for public comment expires this week. It had been previously stated that GBT was holding talks with the AGCC regarding re-licensing FTP and GBT’s Laurent Tapie was more recently rumored to have moved to Dublin in anticipation of an FTP relaunch. Could there finally be flickers of fire to go along with all that smoke and mirrors?
Meanwhile, a new court filing has removed any lingering doubt as to who owns Absolute Poker, which, along with FTP and PokerStars, was cited in the Black Friday indictments. On March 29, Blanca Games filed a corporate disclosure statement with the US District Court in the Southern District of New York asserting that Blanca is “the sole parent corporation of Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet and Absolute Entertainment S.A.” The last word issued by Blanca on the subject of Black Friday was a statement last October that it was considering a potential liquidation of assets to reimburse (partially, at least) customers who saw their deposits turn to dust on April 15, 2011.