8/1/12 Update: Stipulation and Order of Settlement Regarding PokerStars. Very detailed 28 page document concerning the obligations and benefits of the PS-DOJ-FTP deal.
1:30 PM Update: DOJ releases a statement.
1:00 PM Update: Lee Jones posts on 2p2 with a FAQ about the agreement and cashout options.
Original Post: Mass hysteria was created last Friday when it was rumored that PokerStars and DOJ had reached an agreement and a formal announcement would be coming soon. Well, we can now officially say our “ONE TIME!” came through because the deal is complete!
Diamond Flush broke the story this morning, confirming that PokerStars and the DOJ have indeed reached an agreement, and has been approved by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The article also lays out all the details of the agreement and what happens next. Here is a summary of what happens in the deal:
- Full Tilt Poker voluntarily forfeits all assets to the US government, who will then transfer certain assets to PokerStars.
- PokerStars agrees to forfeit the amount of $547,000,000 to the US government over the next three years.
- All non US players will be able to withdraw their Full Tilt funds in 90 days or less (approximately $184 million total).
- All US players will be required to file a petition with the DOJ to receive their Full Tilt funds (approximately $150 million total).
- There is no deadline listed for the repayment of US players.
- PokerStars and Full Tilt may not offer real money play within the US until permissible by law.
- PokerStars plans to re-open Full Tilt, probably within the 90 day time limit, yet there is no specific relaunch date mentioned.
- Isai Scheinberg is required to step down within 45 days.
- All civil suits and money laundering charges against Full Tilt and PokerStars will be dismissed.
PokerStars, nor the DOJ, have yet to release an official statement, however Full Tilt Poker has spoke out with the following press release:
FULL TILT POKER CONCLUDES TRANSACTION WITH POKERSTARS AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Agreement Ends Civil Forfeiture Proceedings and Includes Payment For All Players
Dublin – July 31, 2012 – Full Tilt Poker is very pleased to announce the conclusion of a three-way transaction with PokerStars and the United States Department of Justice which will result in all of FTP’s US players having the opportunity to be paid. The agreement ends the company’s civil forfeiture proceedings with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Under the terms of the agreement, PokerStars will pay a substantial amount of money to the United States, and the government has agreed that all U.S. players will have an opportunity to request that they be compensated out of those funds for their losses. In addition, within ninety days PokerStars will make available for immediate cash withdrawal or play, the account balances for all of Full Tilt Poker’s non-U.S. players.
Full Tilt Poker apologizes to all of its customers who endured a long and difficult period wondering whether this day would ever come.
Full Tilt Poker expresses its appreciation to its loyal employees whose hard work over the last 15 months preserved the value of the Full Tilt Poker assets so a deal like this could be possible, and to PokerStars and the United States Department of Justice for their efforts in bringing about this resolution.
Jeff Ifrah of Ifrah Law PLLC, (Washington, D.C.) Barry Boss and Anne Madonia of Cozen O’Connor (Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, PA respectively), Tony Coles and Charles Gerada of Jeffrey Green Russell Solicitors (London), and Tony O’Grady of Matheson Ormsby Prentice (Dublin) represented the affiliated companies that owned and operated Full Tilt .
PokerStars Official FAQ [Posted by Lee Jones on 2p2]
Q: Will Full Tilt be closed down permanently?
A: No. We plan to re-open Full Tilt in most markets within 90 days of closing (which will take place within seven days). At that time, player accounts will be fully available for use, play or withdrawal. We are not currently planning to seek a license to operate Full Tilt in France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Estonia. For Full Tilt players in these markets, we will work with regulators to determine the appropriate mechanisms for making funds available. In any case, these funds will be available as soon as possible.
Q: When will Full Tilt be re-opened?
A: We plan to re-open Full Tilt in most markets within 90 days of closing (which will take place within seven days).
Q:I play on PokerStars but not on Full Tilt. How does this affect me?
A: This will not impact players on PokerStars in any way. You can continue playing as before and your money is completely segregated and safe for play and/or withdrawing at any time you please.
Q: What countries will Full Tilt Poker reopen in?
A: Full Tilt Poker will reopen in most countries and we plan to apply for a global license with the Isle of Man and Malta gaming authorities. We are not currently planning to seek a license to operate Full Tilt in France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Estonia. Full Tilt players in these countries will be able to play on PokerStars.
Q: Does this settlement mean I can play real money online poker in the United States?
A: No. Under the terms of our agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, we will not offer real money online poker in the U.S. until such time as there is regulation and licensing permitting this. The agreement does expressly allow for both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands to apply for such licenses in the U.S. whenever they are offered.
Q: Can I transfer my FTP funds to an account on PokerStars?
A: We hope to have the functionality in place to allow inter-site transfers between Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, so that you can enjoy playing again on either platform of your choosing. We will provide additional guidance on this in the coming weeks.
Q:I’m from Italy (also: France, Spain, Belgium, Estonia, Denmark). Can I use my funds on PokerStars, due to not having the option to play on Full Tilt Poker again?
A: We are currently working with the relevant authorities in your country and hope to put in place a solution that allows you to transfer your Full Tilt funds to a PokerStars account.
Q: How do I cash out my funds? (US)
A: The process of reimbursing Full Tilt US players will be addressed by the US Government.
Q: When will I be able to cash out my funds? (France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Estonia, Denmark)
A: We are currently working with the regulators in your country on the mechanisms required to withdraw your funds. We are committed to making these funds available within 90 days of the formal closing of the deal, which will be within seven days.
Q: Will I be able to cash out my entire balance? (ROW)
A: Yes. Full balances will be made available for immediate withdrawal once the site is reopened.
Q: What cash-out methods will there be? (ROW)
A: We will strive to ensure our complete payment offering is available at the time of launch. Where possible this will be consistent with the current offering at PokerStars.
Q: Are there going to be play-though requirements before I can cashout? (ROW)
A: No. You will have full access to your funds immediately and in most cases will be able to fully withdraw funds using the same methods previously available in your market.
Q: How long will my cash-out take to process? (ROW)
A: Processing times will differ depending on the method of cashout.
Q: What happens to my Full Tilt loyalty rewards?
A: We are reviewing all previous Full Tilt reward programs and will provide more details on plans for these programs in the near future. We intend to have a fair resolution for players with accumulated points and other rewards under the program.
Q: Can I use my FTP funds on PokerStars?
A: We are currently working on solutions for players to have inter-site transfers between FullTiltPoker.com and PokerStars.com.
Q: Who should I contact in the future to discuss my Full Tilt account?
A: You should contact firstname.lastname@example.org where one of Full Tilt’s representatives will assist you with your account query.