PokerStars completes Full Tilt deal

PokerStars completes Full Tilt deal

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Players with funds stuck in the Black Friday hole that is Full Tilt Poker these past 15-months have reason to celebrate today after PokerStars announced that it had completed the acquisition of the assets of the beleaguered site. The deal, which has been approved by the US Department of Justice (DoJ), will see players from outside the US get their money back within 90 days of completion.

PokerStars has agreed to pay the US government $547m over a three-year period (with $225m to be paid within 6 days) which in part will be used to pay former Full Tilt Poker customers in the United States in a process to be administered by the DoJ. All outstanding money owed to non-U.S. Full Tilt customers (an amount totalling USD$184 million), will be made available from PokerStars via a separate, segregated bank account, with no restrictions on withdrawals, within 90 days of the completion of this transaction.

PokerStars announced plans to re-launch Full Tilt Poker in most markets as a separate brand, with a new, independent management team running the new entity. Full Tilt operations will continue to be run from Dublin, but regulatory oversight will be transferred to the Isle of Man.

“We are delighted we have been able to put this matter behind us, and also secured our ability to operate in the United States of America whenever the regulations allow,” said Mark Scheinberg, Chairman of the Board of PokerStars. “This outcome demonstrates our continuing global leadership of the online poker industry, and our commitment to working with governments and regulators to ensure the highest standards of protection for players.”

“Acquiring certain assets of Full Tilt Poker strengthens PokerStars, brings welcome relief to Full Tilt Poker players who have been waiting over 12 months for repayment of their money, and benefits the entire poker community. Full Tilt Poker’s customers outside the U.S. can soon look forward to accessing their accounts and playing on the re-launched site, confident that they are supported by PokerStars’ history of integrity and our track record of delivering high-quality and secure online poker.”

“The way we have operated our business since the U.S. Department of Justice brought its claim has underlined our credentials as a responsible online poker operator,” Scheinberg continued. “In particular, the prompt repayment of our former US customers in as quick a time frame as possible demonstrated our industry-leading commitment to the segregation of customer funds. We continue to encourage jurisdictions all over the world to introduce sensible online poker regulation.”

The agreement also explicitly permits PokerStars to apply to relevant U.S. gaming authorities, under both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands, to offer real money online poker when State or Federal governments introduce a framework to regulate such activity.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “We are pleased to announce these settlements by Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, which allow us to quickly get significant compensation into the victim players’ hands. Today’s settlements demonstrate that if you engage in conduct that violates the laws of the United States, as we alleged in this case, then even if you are doing so from across the ocean, you will have to answer for that conduct and turn over your ill-gotten gains.”

Tags: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Black Friday