Deal Struck By Pokerstars and US Government in July of 2012

Q: When Did Pokerstars Buy Full Tilt Poker?

A: The genesis of the deal for Pokerstars buying Full Tilt Poker came on April 15th, 2011, aka "Black Friday".

On that day, Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker/UB were all shut down by the US government for a variety of different offenses. The US government eventually allowed Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker to regain use of their domain names.

Over the next 15 months, Pokerstars and the US government engaged in settlement talks. Pokerstars, which is a well-run company, had the available resources to quickly pay back their former US customers. Full Tilt Poker, on the other hand, was a total financial mess and was soon shut down by regulators.

On July 31st, 2012, a settlement deal was struck between Pokerstars and the US government. The deal called for Pokerstars to acquire all of Full Tilt Poker's assets and intellectual property. The settlement was worth $731 million in total, with $547 million being paid to the US government over a three year period. The remaining $184 million was earmarked for the repayment of Full Tilt Poker's non-US customers.

The US government repaid Full Tilt Poker's US customers with a portion of the $547 million that they collected from Pokerstars - these payments to Full Tilt Poker's previous US customers began in February of 2014.


All of the relevant parties signed off on the deal in late July of 2012, with official approval being announced on July 31st, 2012.

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