In an exciting day for the online poker world, PokerStars has announced that the company has reached an agreement with the U.S. department of justice (DoJ) to acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker in a $731 million deal, $184 million of which will be allocated to the return of funds of all oustanding non-U.S. player customers.
In addition, Pokerstars added “In addition, within 90 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,”
What will happen to outstanding U.S. customer funds?
With regards to U.S. player funds, Pokerstars said “The government has agreed that all of Full Tilt Poker’s U.S. players will have an opportunity to request that they be compensated out of those funds for their losses."
So this seems like prosperous news for any player who was unfortunate enough to lose money after Black Friday - it now seems almost certain that everyone will see the return of their funds, albeit probably at a later date for U.S. customers.
Jeff Ifrah, partner with Ifrah law, who represented Full Tilt Poker, released a statement which was nothing short of blissful to the ears of poker players - “Full Tilt and PokerStars had the interests of the players and the future of online poker at heart – we knew that getting the players paid had to be a part of this transaction. A lot of people pulled together to make this a win-win and it was very exciting and gratifying to be involved in.”
In a discussion on the popular poker forum TwoPlusTwo, Lee Jones of Pokerstars answered user questions, including the following with regards to real money online poker in the U.S. ;
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.
We'll no doubt have more to report in the coming days - after months of speculation and rubbished reports, it finally seems like this is all legtimate and ready to make some real headway. One things for sure - with an effective cash injection of $184 million in to poker player's pockets, we can be sure to see the tables heating up again!