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Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar Apologizes for Silence
Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar broke his nearly yearlong silence since Black Friday to apologize to the poker community on Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview with PokerStrategy.com, Bitar took the time to say sorry to all the players who had been affected by Black Friday and the subsequent closure of Full Tilt Poker.
PokerStrategy.com asked Bitar why he hadn’t made any statements since Black Friday.
“Ray Bitar: There are two reasons. One is the ongoing legal process which has precluded me from providing any relevant information surrounding the on-going investigation, and of course, I have not wanted to jeopardize the process in any way. While I could have made general statements throughout this process, they would not directly relate to the issues under investigation. Any such statements would be so general in nature that they would not provide answers to the many questions people understandably have.
The second reason is that, along with others, I have been working every single day since Black Friday to ensure players are repaid, which has been my top priority, as well as working on the future plans of FTP. This work had to be done out of the scrutiny of the public eye. And so while it might satisfy people to have specific information about those ongoing discussions - and it would certainly take some of the heat off myself - I am convinced that such public statements would diminish the likelihood of a successful outcome, which is what we need to be focused on."
View the complete interview here.
Full Tilt Poker was forced out of the U.S. market last April when the DOJ came down hard on FTP, PokerStars and UB/Absolute Poker.
FTP continued to operate in Europe before the Alderney Gambling Control Commission eventually suspended its operating license.
In September, 2011, the DOJ called Full Tilt a “Ponzi” scheme and that its owners defrauded the players by misrepresenting to players that their deposits were actually on the site.
The interview was only three questions long and Bitar mentioned he had been cooperating fully with the U.S. DOJ and doing everything in his effort ensure that Full Tilt survives and players get repaid.
Bitar did not speak about the Bernard Tapie Group deal, Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey or if the site would re-open any time soon.
He did say that his silence was not an attempt to “hide” or “ignore” the situation but was done because his entire focus has been on reaching the best outcome for Full Tilt players.
Bitar finished by saying he was hopeful he would soon have good news for players.