Garden City Group, the DOJ-appointed claims administrator overseeing the formal remission process for one-time US-based players of the original Full Tilt Poker, has announced a third wave of refunds to be released to players in another two weeks.
According to the latest update posted at the website connected to the remission process, FullTiltPokerClaims.com, “GCG expects to issue these payments in the middle of June 2014.” This newest wave of refunds will include roughly 3,500 players and consist of about $15 million in payments.
The latest round of payments joins two earlier waves of payments made in early March and late April, and will bring the total refunded to former US players of the site to more than $91 million. At least 33,000 accounts will have received refunds once the latest wave is completed.
The June wave of payments includes two categories of former Full Tilt players:
- Players who submitted timely applications (“Petitions”) for refunds, but for various reasons, including erroneous or missing banking information, could not be included in either of the first two waves;
- Players who were tagged as former affiliates of the site, but who had poker balances that were at least in part attributable to profitable play on the site. For those accounts tagged as affiliates, only the non-affiliate portion of their player balances will be refunded, with funds received via affiliate payments disallowed for eligibility through the remission process.
As part of its latest update, GCG also issued a reminder that an unspecified quantity of players had refunds that were either fully or partially seized for payment of other debts to the US government, through the Treasury Offset Program. Players whose Full Tilt balances exceeded the sum seized in settlement of back debts were and are required to file additional paperwork to receive the remainder of their Full Tilt balances.
The total of $91 million that will have been paid when the latest wave is complete still falls well short of the approximately $160 that Full Tilt owed to US-based players when it ceased operations in 2011, shortly after online poker’s “Black Friday.”
Tens of thousands of small-balance Full Tilt accounts likely went unclaimed, but could not account for more than a couple of million dollars. While a least one more refund wave from GCG is likely, it appears that tens of millions that existed as player balances will not be refunded. Those balances would be a combination of affiliate payments that still resided in player accounts as of April 15, 2011, along with the account balances of prominent owners and major sponsored players of the company.
Full Tilt has, of course, been relaunched by PokerStars parent Rational Group, as part of the same settlement between Stars and the US Department of Justice that allowed for all former Full Tilters to receive refunds. Today’s Full Tilt no longer accepts American players.
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