Today marks the most historic day in poker since Black Friday as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a press release announcing a $731 million settlement with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. All of Full Tilt Poker’s worldwide customers will be repaid in full under the terms of the agreement.
We will continue to update the space below with relevant links and information pertaining to this landmark news.
U.S. DOJ official press release
Official PokerStars settlement agreement
PokerTips news article
PokerTips forum discussion thread
FAQ with Lee Jones
Official PokerStars press release
PokerStars corporate blog post
Wall Street Journal article
L.A. Times article
Poker Players Alliance (PPA) Statement
PPA Facebook comment thread
Ray Bitar statement
Full Tilt attorney Jeff Ifrah discusses settlement
TwoPlusTwo NVG Thread
CNN article (featured front page article)
NY Times article
Informational Quick Hits:
- Stars surrenders $547 million to U.S., will repay another approx. $184 million to non-U.S. players directly.
- U.S. DOJ will compensate U.S. victims directly.
- U.S. DOJ will keep some funds surrendered by PokerStars to cover legal claims made by others to Full Tilt assets.
- Isai Scheinberg, founder of PokerStars, has 45 days to end any management or director role with PokerStars.
- U.S. players must petition DOJ to receive their money back; specifics of this process presently unclear.
- Raymond Bitar, Howard Lederer, Rafael Furst, Chris Ferguson are named as civil money-laundering defendants in DOJ complaint.
- Full Tilt balances of Lederer, Bitar, Ferguson, Furst and Burtnick will not be returned.
- PokerStars prohibited from operating in U.S., unless it is legal to do so under U.S. law. Theoretically, if future online poker legislation allows firms that violated the UIGEA but settled with the DOJ (or something along those lines), PokerStars/Full Tilt could accept US players again.
- PokerStars prohibited from hiring any former Full Tilt insiders.
- Bitar statement: “I am glad that this chapter has closed.”
- Stars owes U.S. $225 million within six days, $125 million within one year, another $100 million within two years, final $97 million within three years.
- PokerStars has full access to PokerStars.com again and will no longer need to have the DOJ logo for US visitors.
- All civil money-laundering charges against PokerStars are dismissed.
- PokerStars plans to re-open Full Tilt Poker, says too early to discuss strategic plans.
- bwin.party stock (BPTY.L), owner of Party Poker, closes down 6.8% today on news.
- June 29, 2011 is official date for Full Tilt refund balances owed.
- Manhattan’s U.S. attorney Preet Bharara: “Today’s settlements demonstrate that if you engage in conduct that violates the laws of the United States, as we alleged in this case, then even if you are doing so from across the ocean, you will have to answer for that conduct and turn over your ill-gotten gains.”
- U.S. attorney’s office also asks court to accept an agreement requiring Absolute Poker/UB to forfeit all of its assets