Breaking: PokerStars To Settle with the DOJ
We’ve just gotten word that the United States Department of Justice has approved the Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars deal– and players effected by the two companies’ financial and criminal drama over the last 15 months will finally get some of their money back.
According to Forbes, PokerStars will make $184 million available to reimburse Full Tilt’s non-US customers that had money on deposit there within 90 days. Meanwhile, in a statement released by Full Tilt Poker, “all US players will have an opportunity to request that they be compensated out of those funds for their losses.”
PokerStars will also pay $547 million over the next three years to the US government to settle civil charges that the company evaded US laws on online gambling and used crooked methods to process payments. Reprts have surfaced that PokerStars’ first payment of $225 million is due in the hands of the DoJ by August 6.
With this new deal, civil forfeiture and money laundering claims against PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have been dismissed.
With the debacle (seemingly) coming to an end, PokerStars is now eyeing its entry into the US market once again. PokerStars released an official statement saying that “the agreement explicitly permits PokerStars to apply to relevant US gaming authorities, under both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands, to offer real money online poker when State or Federal governments introduce a framework to regulate such activity.”
Mark Scheinberg, chairman of PokerStars, said, “We are delighted we have been able to put this matter behind us, and also secured our ability to operate in the United States of America whenever the regulations allow. This outcome demonstrates our continuing global leadership of the online poker industry, and our commitment to working with governments and regulators to ensure the highest standards of protection for players.”
Meanwhile, Full Tilt will be re-launched in most markets with “regulatory oversight” transferred to PokerStars. Don’t expect PokerStars owner Isai Scheinberg and Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar to hold onto their titles, as they’e barred from ever holding any managerial or directorial role under the new company structure.