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Online Casino Investigation into Brunson Deal

Back in July, the World Poker Tour Enterprises were facing a possible buyout by online casino operator and poker legend, Doyle Brunson, and an unnamed financial interest group. The hot story, however, became a public conversation topic among industry leaders and online casinos fans instead. The online casino deal appeared to fall through this week, with a stock price of $6.20 (in place of the $29.50 that was recorded soon after the talk of a possible acquisition). At the time, the Securities and Exchange Commission uttered reservations regarding the manner in which negotiations and statements had been made, therefore hinting at a possible public investigation.

Recently, the SEC issued an official action for the enforcement of subpoenas given earlier. Brunson’s lawyers had initially declined to provide key internal documents regarding the offer during the previous subpoenas on the basis of attorney-client privilege. A court hearing seems to be the next step, although location and date have not yet been determined or announced. The subpoenas could force individuals involved in the deal to testify and present previously undisclosed documents and information relating to the offer and the online casino king. David Chesnoff and Chaka Henry, Las Vegas law firm and the negotiators of the Brunson deal, has declined to comment on the SEC investigation. The online casino operator has pleaded the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and will not participate in the investigation.

The SEC is investigating the legality of Brunson’s offer and whether securities and anti-fraud laws were violated. The subpoenas will push the investigation forward, as the Brunson team chose to withhold certain documents and not testify about crucial evidence regarding the short-lived offer. The online casino guru and his team will have to wait it out to see how the SEC rules. In the meantime, the story will only get hotter as more and more online casino fans discover what’s going on with the poker champ.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.