Full Tilt Poker Remission Process Continuing at Snail’s Pace
Former United States customers of Full Tilt Poker are likely to face a continued wait for their refunds from the site, according to unofficial reports emerging on poker forums.
TwoPlusTwo forum poster “Schlucky1” commented Sunday on the results of frequent contact attempts to claims administration firm Garden City Group, selected by the US government to administer the FTP remission process.
The poster reported speaking to GCG representative Lorrie Stall, who offered general information suggesting that between one and two more years could elapse before former American Full Tilters have their refunds in hand. Pokerfuse subsequently contacted Ms. Stall of the GCG to confirm specifics of the ongoing process, though Stall declined to comment and instead referred the inquiry up GCG’s corporate ladder.
Pokerfuse has separately obtained a brief e-mail from GCG reiterating that the administrators’ remission plans for former FTP players remains under development. That text:
Thank you for contacting us about the status of the Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration. We have your registration in our database and will be sure to contact you once the claims submission process begins.
We are working with the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the United States Department of Justice to review the data in the possession of Full Tilt Poker to determine how claims should be calculated. It will still take some time before the claims process begins. Please continue to check the settlement administration website (www.FullTiltPokerClaims.com) for important updates.
The file provided by Full Tilt Poker has a lot of transactions, which we are meeting with them to clarify the information so we can move forward and get this process moving.
The FTP remission process remains bogged down over concerns of creating a formula that accurately tracks the amounts due to players while also accounting for (and likely removing from consideration for refunds), as much as $80 million in phantom deposits to the site that were never processed against depositors’ US bank accounts.
A second consideration depends on the United States’ ultimate decision regarding player deposits versus existing site balances, when the original Full Tilt ceased US-facing operations in April, 2011. Federal officials overseeing the process have yet to declare whether refunds will be based on deposits, existing balances, or a combination of both.
Using deposits as part of a calculation method would potentially increase the overall liability owed to players, and would nullify the actual poker play that took place on the site. Such a method would free the US federal officials from any perceived sanctioning of the online poker activity that a results-based refund process might imply.
However, the US already allowed refunds of balances to occur from former rival site PokerStars, which subsequently purchased the assets of Full Tilt as part of a complex legal settlement that also created the funding necessary for the FTP remissions. The Poker Players Alliance has also issued a statement calling for refunds based on existing balances, following the previous precedents.