PokerStars' acquisition of Full Tilt Poker has poker players celebrating but U.S. players still have to deal with a final hurdle to recover their account balances.
While PokerStars will handle the balances for players in the rest of the world, the U.S. government will be responsible for getting its citizens paid back.
Officially this is what the U.S. government has stated on the issue:
Under the terms of the settlement with Full Tilt, U.S. victims of the company’s alleged fraud will be able to seek compensation from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”). The funds that will be used to compensate qualifying victims will come from the $547 million that will be forfeited by PokerStars as part of its settlement with the Government.
Conventional wisdom is that the U.S. government will soon release a form for American Full Tilt players on the www.justice.gov website.
An exact timeline for U.S. players getting paid has yet to be announced, while the rest of the world is expected to be back on Full Tilt and able to withdraw within 90 days.
This is a sample of a standard remission petition from the U.S. government.
The Full Tilt funds will be distributed by the Asset Forfeiture Section.
Will Players Receive Winnings or Initial Deposit?
Questions still remain about whether U.S. players will be compensated for the amount they initially deposited on the site or their current balance with winnings included.
It is assumed that it will be according to their current balance, like PokerStars has offered to rest of the world players, but this Forbes article suggests that may not be the case.
It’s worth noting that players will be categorized based on their country of residence attached to their account when Full Tilt went offline on June 29, 2011.
U.S. players who have subsequently moved abroad will be forced to file for reimbursement in the United States.
In addition PokerStars is still trying to figure out how to let U.S. players see their balances so they know they exact amount to seek for remission.
Here is some contact information for the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section in the United States:
Direct Line: (202) 514-1263