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PokerStars Agrees to $731 Million Settlement with U.S. Government

/ Jul 31st, 2012 No Comments

PokerStars

PokerStars has agreed to pay $731 million and will acquire Full Tilt Poker to settle civil charges that the company used fraudulent ways to process payments and avoid U.S. regulations on Internet gambling.

The settlement between PokerStars and the U.S. Department of Justice consists of $547 million being paid by PokerStars to the U.S. government over a three year period. That money will be used in part to reimburse Full Tilt Poker customers in a process administered by the government. PokerStars already has reimbursed their own customers who were affected shortly after U.S. operations were closed.

A separate fund of $184 million will be created by PokerStars to pay off all outstanding balances to non-U.S. customers.

Despite the controversy surrounding the site, PokerStars has remained open for business without interruption for all non-U.S. customers with all licensing in good standing.

Under the agreement, PokerStars has not admitted to any wrongdoing. PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will be able to apply to relevant U.S. gaming authorities to offer real money online as soon as the framework for such activity is introduced through state or federal regulations.

PokerStars plans to reintroduce Full Tilt Poker as a separate brand under a new, independent management team. PokerStars is based out of the Isle of Man. Full Tilt Poker will now be operating in Dublin with regulatory oversight from the PokerStars team in Isle of Man.

Full Tilt Poker collapsed in April 2011 when the U.S. government attacked major online poker operations. Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar was arrested by feds and the government repeatedly declared Full Tilt as a Ponzi scheme.

U.S. players who had money on deposit at Full Tilt Poker will be able to apply with the Department of Justice to receive reimbursement.

PokerStars.com is the world’s most popular online poker site. It launched in December 2001 and has more than 49 million registered users. Over 82 billion hands have been dealt and more than 565 million tournaments have been played through PokerStars.

Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom
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