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Et Tu, Full Tilt?

Et Tu, Full Tilt?

Fears that the entire online poker universe was ending when the US Department of Justice indicted Full Tilt and PokerStars and seized their domains on April 15 have proven unfounded; roughly one month has passed and play continues on at both PokerStars and Full Tilt, albeit with many fewer players seated at their tables after they barred US citizens from playing on both sites.

While both sites quickly cut off US players' access to their tables in the wake of the moves by the DoJ, getting access to the money that US players had in their online poker accounts has been a much different story. PokerStars moved very quickly to arrange a deal with US authorities to return player funds and acted swiftly, with over $100 million paid out to US players in recent weeks according to PokerStars. That included pending bonus and player loyalty points, all of which were converted to cash equivalents and paid out promptly by PokerStars.

Full Tilt, however, has been largely mum on the subject of when US players will be able to cash out their funds, with over a month passing and still no official timeline offered to players as to when they can expect their money. The only recent communications at all from Full Tilt of late was a very vague statement on popular poker forum 2+2 on May 15th, which included the following:

"FTP's international business operations are returning to normal while we focus on ensuring the safe and orderly return of US player deposits. We are absolutely committed to making sure that US players are refunded as soon as possible. We apologize for the delay and the fact that we underestimated the time it would take to work through these issues. We will update our US players when we have more specific information to provide." 

The only small bit of good news in the post from Full Tilt at 2+2 is they planned to soon allow US players to spend their player points to buy merchandise in the Full Tilt store, which was pretty small solace to some players with bankrolls of five and six figures inaccessible and tied up in their Full Tilt accounts, with no timeline as to when they might receive their money.

The delay is causing both players and online casino and poker industry insiders to question if Full Tilt may be facing larger difficulties as far as mingling together player deposits with operational funds; if so, the seizure of funds by US authorities could be leading to a liquidity crisis that leaves Full Tilt unable to both continue its day to day operations and also pay out all the money owed to US players.


17-May-2011, 10:50

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