The deals that have been arranged between U.S. Federal Prosecutors and the three Internet poker companies as they call for more than a half billion dollars to be paid to the government. That will allow the U.S. poker players to recover some several millions of dollars that they lost when the companies shut down their United States operations this past year.
The U.S. District Judge, Leonard B. Sand approved settlement agreements with Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars and a separate one between the government and the third company, Absolute poker is still pending.
Poker Stars who has said it acquired the assets of Full Tilt Poker also said in the release that its agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice calls for them to pay the government some $547 million over the next three years and part of that money is to be used in part to reimburse former Full Tilt Poker United States customers who are owed some $184 million dollars when the U.S. operations of the companies was shut down when the government last year brought criminal charges against various poker companies executives and others who helped the companies in the money processing factions.
This settlement with the government does not constitute admissions of wrongdoing, liability or guilt by any of the parties and also the deal with PokerStars will permit them to reenter the United States market if the laws change that will permit online poker. It is also anticipated by the government that the deal will allow them to quickly get significant compensation into the victim players’ hands.
Last year, the U.S. government brought charges against 11 individuals who had played management roles in the companies or had helped them process billions of dollars in gambling proceeds through U.S. financial institutions. The government accused the companies of fooling banks into processing the money by making it seem that funds resulted from payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants selling merchandise such as jewelry and golf balls. The United States said that approximately one-third or more of the billions of dollars went directly to the poker companies as revenue through the amount they charged each player to join a game.
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