PokerStars, Full Tilt Domain Names Returned to Facilitate Refunds

American justice

Full Tilt and PokerStars are getting their domain names back to facilitate the return of funds to U.S. players.

Friday, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney charged the principals of three of online poker's biggest sites with bank fraud, illegal gambling and laundering billions of dollars.

In all, 11 defendants were charged, including PokerStars' Isai Scheinberg, Fill Tilt Poker's Ray Bitar and Absolute Poker's Scott Tom.

The Internet domain names used by PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet were seized and began redirecting to a message from the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI.

Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the office has entered into an agreement with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to allow players to register for refund requests directly with the sites.

"On April 15th, this Office and the FBI took specific legal action against 11 individuals who allegedly engaged not merely in the operation of illegal gambling businesses, but in massive wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering, despite repeated warnings and clear notice that their conduct was illegal in the United States," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

"No individual player accounts were ever frozen or restrained, and each implicated poker company has at all times been free to reimburse any player's deposited funds. In fact, this Office expects the companies to return the money that U.S. players entrusted to them, and we will work with the poker companies to facilitate the return of funds to players, as today’s agreements with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker demonstrate."

Under the terms of the agreements, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will not allow U.S. residents to play or make deposits, but will regain use of the and domain names to allow U.S. players to log on and withdraw funds.

The sites will once again be allowed to conduct international business outside the U.S. through the once-seized domain names as it pleases.

An independent monitor will be appointed to verify PokerStars’ and Full Tilt Poker’s compliance.

An offer has also been extended to enter the same agreement with Absolute Poker.


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howard laderer 2011-04-24 10:50:25

Apparently its not just US players asking for their money back. A lot of other players around the world have lost confidence in FT/PS and are withdrawing money. These sites have seen their stock values drop like a ton of bricks and it will get worse for them. US decision about online poker is ridiculous and should have followed the rest of the world who allow it and for good reasons. US government naturally want to regulate and control it so that it makes money from it. OK, this was always going to be the way forward, so why did PS/FT have to fiddle things? These companies actually screwed over their playes and not just the US government. They had this coming for a long time, it should not be a suprise this has happened.

Rahul 2011-04-24 10:43:52

I think ft/ps are really reluctant to give that chunk of money back to their players. They know its not legally their money but it does have a massive impact on their liquidity as a company. Well, thats hard luck for them and they should have made mass automated payments back to the original source of as many players as possible immediately. In the eyes of their once loyal players this is not acceptable.

corrupt PIGS 2011-04-22 06:11:38

Still waiting 2 withdraw my 17 G's off stars? Has anybody else had luck yet? Then it's move over stars..bodoGG here we come baybay...see ya'll at the table holla!!!! I.E. if anybody has gotten their cash off of stars plz. let me know!

danny 2011-04-21 14:00:48

Euro sites must be jumping for joy now that the major ones are loosing there player and are now offering good deals to migrate to their sites. The problem is that many of these sites are tacky looking and are not as pleasing on the eye like PS/FT. Well, as long as you can get your money in with the best of it then it should not matter in the end.

PokerListings 2011-04-21 00:46:32

FAQ now up from Stars for US players

Ryan 2011-04-21 00:42:59

It makes since to want to reprogram it. They will need to automate it somehow as there are no doubt hundreds of thousands of withdrawal requests compared to the few hundred a day that they used to receive daily.

Lee 2011-04-21 00:41:39

What does this mean for the FTP,PSTARS and AP Pros.
Guess they can play in sponsored on live events but forget online events the public can't play realmoney so Pro can't play either .

stevo 2011-04-20 23:27:57

They said...'massive wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering' ... well, if this is true then at least the players are not to blame and will get their money back. FT and PS maybe screwed now. US players will have to grind out roll someplace else it seems

RLL 2011-04-20 22:25:48

I just tried pulling cash from my PokerStars account, and received an error message stating that they're reprogramming their cashier interface to help people withdraw money more easily.


THE NUTS RIGHT 2011-04-20 22:09:17

I think that its about time that the government recognizes that there are up to 15 million US players and a large percentage of these individuals with money in their accounts on these sites. I personally have not been able to withdraw my funds and I look forward to doing so but I am unsure about playing poker online anytime soon.