Party Poker Cofounder to Plead Guilty, Pay $300m Fine

by , Dec 15, 2008 | 5:46 pm

Online poker software creator Anurag Dikshit agrees to pay off the US gov for his “crimes”.

From the Financial Times: Party Poker co-founder Anurag Dikshit will appear in the Southern District Court of New York Tuesday to plead guilty to violating the Wire Act, pay a $300,000,000 fine and cooperate with the Department of Justice in the hopes of avoiding a 2-year jail sentence.

Dikshit currently owns 27% of Party Gaming, but it appears he won’t have to divest his holdings in Party after pleading guilty. Ruth Parasol and Russ DeLeon, who also co-founded Party Poker, don’t appear to be near any type of settlement with the US government. Party Gaming has been negotiating with the Department of Justice for some time now; could this mean their eventual return to the US if and when Internet gaming is regulated?

More on this developing story later…

UPDATE: Party Gaming has released their own press release stating that they are still in final negotiations with the US Dept. of Justice in terms of a settlement, and that they will pay a substantially lower amount to the US government than Dikshit. At the time of this update, they’re up over 25% in trading today.

5pm UPDATE: Dikshit has entered his plea, and is free on a $15m bond, which limits him to travel within the European Union, India and New York. He has also already paid $100,000,000 with another payment due in 3 months, and the rest by September. Also, he’s scheduled for sentencing December 16, 2010. Further details here.

16 Comments to “Party Poker Cofounder to Plead Guilty, Pay $300m Fine”

  1. Ben Matlock


  2. DanM


    They might as well call it a licensing pre-application fee.

  3. Kevin Mathers

    It surely is, but if it takes “only” $300m to be legitimate, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of sites who’ll gladly pay.

  4. DanM

    And plenty who can’t afford to.

  5. Kevin Mathers

    That’s when you get the B&M casinos to come in and consolidate the market.

  6. DanM

    Hmm, very interesting. I think you are on to something. Party’s stock ain’t exactly expensive these days either.

  7. DanM

    I’m curious where they come up with that number, though. I have a feeling it’s pretty close to what Dikshit woulda had to pay in some capacity in American taxes had he made that money in a regulated US environ.

  8. Kevin Mathers

    You’re probably right on why it’s that much Dan. Expect their stock to rise again tomorrow morning, which helps his bottom line as well.

  9. DanM

    One of the things I just found interesting about the link in your comment — the value of the US dollar seems to be rising against the British pound.

    I’ve always thought of it as 2:1, but apparently it’s now 3:2.

  10. Bill Reynolds

    Come on, that’s a made-up name. “Dikshit”? No Way.

  11. DanM

    Can you imagine what it must be like to be the kid who grew up being made fun of for his last name, suddenly having a couple billion dollars?

  12. DanM

    Thanks for the update, Kev. I’m certainly happy, as a PartyPoker stock owner. And the word that a settlement with the company is pending makes me think they are due for another spike.

    (But note: I am a total stock donkey — so take that assessment with many many grains of salt.)

  13. Aaron A.

    Crap Bill!! I was just about to say that. Dik Shit haha.

  14. DanM

    Re: 5 pm update

    “I came to believe there was a high probability it was in violation of U.S. laws,” Dikshit, a citizen of India who lives in Gibraltar and Britain, told the court. “I understand that what I did was wrong.”

    He was released on a $15 million personal recognizance bond and under the plea deal his travel is restricted to the European Union, India and New York.

    Damn, I think it’s strange that a United States court can put restrictions on an Indian passport.

  15. Poker Shrink

    Less we forget, the other two major stockholders and original owners of Party Poker are not settling a similar claim with the US government. Unlikely there will be any Party presence in the US until all claims are settled.

  16. DanM

    So Anurag just has some shit going on where he needs to clear this off his plate … or maybe travel to the US?