Payment for Full Tilt's US players remains ‘a long way away’

Payment for Full Tilt's US players remains ‘a long way away’

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Players in America hoping for a quick resolution to the FullTilt Poker repayment saga will be disappointed by news from the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) which met with officials from the Department of Justice.

John Pappas, Executive Director for the PPA alongside counsels Marc Zwillinger and Ken Dreifach from law firm ZwillGen PLLC met with the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section in an encounter that was described as ‘cordial’ and ‘productive’.

“We provided the Department of Justice with information and insights on what the player community expects from the remission process and how we believe such a process ought be administered to assure fairness,” read a statement from the PPA.

“Our first priority was to reaffirm our earlier assertions from an August 8, 2012, letter that 100 percent of player account balances be made available to players through the remission process. We laid out compelling legal and practical arguments why full repayment was the only equitable solution.

“We also raised the issue of ‘player point’ balances on FullTilt Poker and encouraged the Department of Justice to recognise the inherent value of these points when they consider what a player is owed.

“Our thoughts on these matters were well received. However, it was clear from our discussion that no decisions have been made at the Department of Justice regarding the manner of repayment of player balances. Nevertheless, we have provided them with a clear picture of the expectations of the player community.”

The PPA stated that it also shared its thoughts with the Department of Justice on how to streamline the process for former players to apply for and receive funds and emphasised the need for a ‘flexible approach’ to authentication and verification.

“While they would not confirm so in the meeting, we are hopeful that the Department of Justice has sufficient means to authenticate players based on the records such as user name, passwords, security questions and e-mail addresses,” read the statement from the PPA.

Finally, the PPA declared that the refund claims process remains ‘a long way away’ as the Department of Justice is currently in the midst of hiring a third-party claims administrator following a bidding process.

“There is no current date certain for that selection to occur but it was evident that, even when a claims administrator is hired, forfeiture and remission procedures require that a substantial administrative process be adhered to before players begin seeing their funds,” read the statement from the PPA.

The PPA intends to ‘remain vigilant’ with its advocacy efforts while reminding players of the ‘staffing and resource limitations’ at the Department of Justice and the ‘numerous other forfeiture cases’ it is currently administering.

“This is certainly not good news for those poker players still awaiting the return of their money but it is all the news the PPA can provide at this time,” read the statement from the PPA.

“Beyond that, the PPA can only pledge to continue its work with the Department of Justice and do everything it can to help the Department of Justice get the process moving as soon as possible. The PPA’s legal team is already working on specific methods to help accomplish this objective.

“While there were not many answers to come from this meeting, [we] do believe that it was beneficial and that there is a clear record for the Department of Justice to make the right decisions with respect to the player remission process. We fully expect to keep a continued and open dialogue with the Department of Justice and we will continue to update you as more information becomes available.”

Tags: Poker Players Alliance, Full Tilt Poker, Black Friday, Department of Justice