Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker Will Regain Their *.com Domain Names Under AgreementPublished on April 20th, 2011 12:15 pm EST
Online poker players in the United States have had to deal with a great deal of bad news since "Black Friday" - finally, here is some good news.
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York issued a press release earlier today entitled "United States Enters Domain-Name Use Agreements With Two Online Poker Companies".
According to the press release, US authorities "will work with the poker companies to facilitate the return of funds to players."
Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars will have their *.com domain names returned to them under the agreement, provided that they do not allow US players to play for "real money" and make any deposits.
According to the agreement, Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker will use their *.com domain names to "facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. players' funds held in account with the companies."
The agreement also explicitly states that Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker will be allowed to use their *.com domain names for real money games OUTSIDE of the United States.
In addition, the agreement calls for the appointment of an "independent monitor to verify Pokerstars' and Full Tilt Poker's compliance with the agreements".
The fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling charges against the 11 defendants named in the government's indictment last Friday remain ongoing.
No deal has been announced with the Cereus network as of yet, but "the Government stands to enter the same agreement with Absolute Poker if it so chooses."
So, the bad news is that US players will still not be able to play for real money on Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, but the good news is that US players will be getting their money back.
So when will players get their money back? According to Full Tilt Poker, there are still some issues. From their press release:
"In addition, the agreement represents an important first step towards returning funds to U.S. players because it allows Full Tilt Poker to utilize its domain to facilitate the withdrawal of player funds. But, unfortunately, there remain significant practical and legal impediments to returning funds to players in the immediate future. As a result of the recent enforcement action, there exists no authorized U.S. payment channel through which to make refunds; Full Tilt Poker has no accounting of the millions of dollars of player funds that were seized by the government; and the government has not agreed to permit any of the seized player funds to be returned to the players. Finally, there are numerous legal and jurisdictional issues that must be considered before poker winnings can be paid out to players throughout the United States. While Full Tilt Poker continues to believe that online poker is not illegal under federal law or in 49 states, the indictment and civil forfeiture action filed last Friday require Full Tilt Poker to proceed with caution in this area.
Notwithstanding these issues, Full Tilt Poker is ready to work diligently with the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York to try and resolve these issues and to get players their money back as soon as possible."
So, sounds to me like there are still some issues to work out, so US players may have to wait a little while (weeks maybe?) before they start getting their money back.
The good news - everybody will be getting their money back. 24 hours ago, many US players thought that their money was lost for good.
Source: ABCNews.go.com - Two Shutdown Poker Sites to Return Poker Players' Money
Filed Under: UIGEA
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