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PokerStars Pays DoJ $225 Million; Deal Moves Forward

PokerStars’ deal with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) to acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker progressed according to the agreement as the world’s top poker site transmitted $225 million in funds to honor the first of four scheduled payments.

“We’re delighted to announce that we have officially closed our deal with the U.S. DoJ as of today, August 9th,” said Lee Jones, a PokerStars representative. Jones added that Full Tilt is expected to relaunch on or before November 6.

The acquisition agreement calls for PokerStars to pay a total of $547 million to the DoJ in a three-year period, of which the first $225 million was due six business days following the court filing that set the deal in motion. PokerStars must now make three additional yearly payments in the sums of $125 million, $100 million and $97 million to complete the transaction with the U.S. government.

PokerStars must also pay non-U.S. players a total of $184 million within 90 days for a total payout of $731 million to fully acquire the assets of Full Tilt and exert an even stronger choke hold on the online poker industry beyond American soil. Full details of those payment plans have not been solidified but most are expected to be facilitated through the re-launched Full Tilt–excepting those players who choose to transfer their funds to PokerStars and either dump their money onto that site or request a withdrawal.

A payment plan for U.S. players has yet to be announced. What is known is that American players will have to submit a claim through the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the DoJ. Rumors have been floating around online public poker forums that the DoJ may only pay the amounts that players deposited into their accounts and not winnings or bonuses that players may have accumulated. However, nothing to that effect has been substantiated.




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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.