The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) expressed its pleasure along with the rest of the poker community on the announcement that PokerStars has acquired the assets of Full Tilt Poker, but also pointed out that players in the U.S. are still unable to play online poker at secure and regulated sites.
“Thanks to PokerStars, the PPA expects that tens of thousands of innocent American poker players will now have access to more than $150 million that has been kept from them for over 14 months,” said PPA Executive Director John Pappas. “We applaud that the parties made a process for the restitution of the players a central component of the agreement, and appreciate the government’s commitment to the fair treatment of the players.”
Contrary to what many players may believe due to the Black Friday allegations that left millions of dollars in players’ accounts frozen for well over a year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) had made it a top priority that players be reimbursed in a timely fashion once an agreement had been brokered. This was evident when Group Bernard Tapie was negotiating to purchase the FTP assets and the deal fell through when Tapie could not agree to players being fully reimbursed within 90 days–an insistence made by DoJ attorneys.
Pappas goes on to say that “Americans still remain unable to play poker with safe and secure online sites based in the U.S.–a freedom and consumer protection they should not be denied. The PPA and its members continue to urge Congress to quickly enact thoughtful legislation to create a licensed and regulated U.S. online poker market that restores Americans’ freedom to enjoy a game of poker from their home computer.”
Nevada is doing its best in leading the way to bring legalized Internet poker to the U.S., with the first regulated intrastate online poker sites expected to be in operation in the Silver State by year’s end at the latest. And talk of online gambling legislation on a federal level being sponsored by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has many Americans clamoring to get back in the game again at sites where their funds are safe.