Called the PokerStars Player Protection Plan, this strategy will see the appointment of a fully independent UK trust company to oversee player funds. The trust company PokerStars has chosen is owned by IFG Group plc, an established financial services company with market listings in London and Dublin.
PokerStars is introducing this plan in the closed French market first, but hopes it will become the industry standard across Europe. The online poker giant has already begun discussions to introduce the plan to regulated markets including Spain, Italy and Belgium.
“The security of player accounts and the integrity of online poker play are fundamental to the ongoing and future success of the industry,” said PokerStars’ CEO Gabi Campos.
“We are pleased to partner with the thought-leaders in European regulation to establish an industry-wide standard for ensuring player funds are protected,” he continued.
Unlike Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars kept its player funds completely segregated from business assets, and was ready to repay players in the wake of Black Friday. This new plan is simply a more formalized version of that fund segregation, one that will be overseen by a third-party group.
By installing a trusted third-party overseer, PokerStars has given its customers another avenue of recourse should problems arise.
PokerStars has pledged that the third-party group will be regulated by the Financial Services Administration in the UK, and will ensure that player funds are kept in bank accounts in regulated banks with balances at least equal to outstanding amounts owed to players at any given time.
Additionally, PokerStars has explained that it will be bearing any and all risks associated with the payment processors that handle deposits and withdrawals. That is to say, should a payment processor fail to transfer the money from a player deposit, PokerStars will still be responsible for crediting the segregated player fund accounts.
For ongoing updates on Full Tilt Poker and everything that’s happening in the wake of Black Friday, keep an eye on our Black Friday Bulletin Board.