Will US Players Ever Get Their Full Tilt Poker Funds Back?

November 20, 2012

Full Tilt Poker has been restored. Online poker players internationally can heave a sigh of relief. However, that is not the case for US players. The majority of US players are still worried about unpaid player account funds from a site that is still struggling to survive.

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) recently held a meeting with officials from Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Division of the US Department of Justice. John Pappas, Executive Director of PPA, together with the body’s legal counsel represented the PPA. The aim of the meeting was to discuss progress made on the matter of refunding players the money spent on Full Tilt Poker. Pappas stated that the meeting was productive but that was not enough. The US players want to hear more.

The Pappas team emphasized PPA’s stand on having all players getting full compensation. This includes medals the players won and balances from points earned before the site went under. At the same time, PPA highlighted its repayment plan to the Department of Justice. From Pappas’ point of view, the government gave a non-reassuring response. While giving the full report to the PPA members, Pappas opined that no decision has been forthcoming from the Department of Justice on repaying the money owed to players.

Hopes of US players getting anything from the government were further dashed following what Pappas terms as a lengthy repayment process. In the report, Pappas states that the federal government is yet to hire an agency empowered with the task of administering refunds. This ought to have been sorted out since it is nearly three months after PokerStars and DOJ reached a settlement.

Pappas is categorical that such developments do not augur well with anxious poker players. While acknowledging that his team cannot provide any further responses, he believes the meeting was a success.

The meeting between DOJ and PPA was the culmination of a process going way back to August. PokerStars and the Department of Justice agreed on a number of things. PokerStars was to buy Full Tilt Poker with a promise to make payment to international poker players. Compensation for players based in the US was to be handled by the federal government. Nothing has changed since that time.

What angers US players most is the fact that Full Tilt Poker is back under the auspices of PokerStars. In this regard, Full Tilt Poker is now ranked second among leading online poker sites. By Tuesday last week, it had nearly 15,000 cash paying players. Since then, there has been a drop in numbers. By yesterday the players were at 12,123 as reported by PokerScout.com. What one can gather from these figures is that despite the strong desire to get back to the site, some players have probably taken their money and ditched the site.

In the meantime, Full Tilt Poker continues as if pushing aside the problems at hand. All in all, the U.S. online poker players have nothing to gain from the report tabled by the Poker Players Alliance. Much as the PPA was able to meet with the DOJ, there is little they can do to hasten repayment. For now, US players are at the bottom of the pile while international players are rejoicing.


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