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Investors step in to buy Dublin-based online poker company

Around 700 people are employed at Pocket Kings, which is the service provider for Full Tilt Poker. Full Tilt had its licence suspended earlier this week.

POCKET KINGS, THE parent company of Full Tilt Poker which is based in Dublin is to be bought by a group of European investors, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The company employs around 700 people in Cherrywood and its future was thrown into doubt this week when it emerged that Full Tilt’s licence had been suspended, along with all online play internationally.

The Alderney Gambling Commission said it suspended the licence “in the public interest and because of the seriousness and urgency of the mattter”.

The chief executive of Poker Kings, Ray Bitar, was one of eleven people charged in New York in April in relation to illegal online gambling. The charges included bank fraud and running illegal operations.

Full Tilt’s US operations were shut down in April but continued in the rest of the world. Now however, all play has been suspended, leaving the future of the 700 people employed in Dublin in the balance. The closure of the US operations meant that Full Tilt owed around $150 million to US players reports the LA Times. On Thursday a lawsuit was filed by a number of players demanding the return of the funds.

Lawyers associated with Full Tilt have reportedly said that the European investors have agreed to pay back the $150 million and gain a majority stake in the Irish operation Pocket Kings. However the Wall Street Journal reports that the deal may not be reached for another three weeks.

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A spokesperson for the company could not be reached for comment today.

Read more: Online poker site with HQ in Dublin has licence suspended>

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Emer McLysaght

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