After a lot of speculations and exchange of rumors on the online forums and otherwise over the last weekend of July 2012, it was officially declared that online poker website PokerStars will acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker, another poker website on July 31, 2012. The declaration was jointly made by PokerStars and United States Department of Justice, when they announced the deal made between them would result in dropping of all charges against PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker and will permit the purchase of Full Tilt by PokerStars. The deal will not only bring restitution to players who had their money involved, but will also consolidate the global online poker market as the deal is conceived in adherence to the regulations of online poker in the US.
The deal came as a relief to poker players who are yet to be paid back their dues. While PokerStars would be responsible to pay back the balances of players in the rest of the world, the citizens of US will be paid back by the US DoJ. The U.S. government has officially stated on the issue:
“Under the terms of the settlement with Full Tilt, U.S. victims of the company’s alleged fraud will be able to seek compensation from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”). The funds that will be used to compensate qualifying victims will come from the $547 million that will be forfeited by PokerStars as part of its settlement with the Government.”
Following is an excerpt from a statement released by Full Tilt Poker lawyer, Jeff Ifrah, on behalf of Full Tilt Poker:
“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.”