The DOJ indictment of online poker rooms took a good turn for U.S. players today when an agreement was announced that will allow PokerStars and Full Tilt to process cashouts for U.S. customers. A press release from the DOJ states that the domain names PokerStars.com and FullTiltPoker.com will be restored to facilitate the return of U.S. player funds.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “No individual player accounts were ever frozen or restrained, and each impacted poker company has at all times been free to reimburse any player’s deposited funds.”
He continued, “In fact, this Office expects the companies to return the money that U.S. players entrusted to them, and we will work with the poker companies to facilitate the return of funds to players, as today’s agreements with PokerStars and Full Tilt demonstrate.”
Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, who were also indicted last Friday, were not included in this agreement. However, the DOJ press release states that the government stands to enter the same agreement with them if they so choose. On what is perhaps a related note, UB today decided to suspend real-money cash play by those living in the United States.
In a statement, Full Tilt says, “As a result of the recent enforcement action, there exists no authorized U.S. payment channel through which to make refunds; Full Tilt Poker has no accounting of the millions of dollars of player funds that were seized by the government; and the government has not agreed to permit any of the seized player funds to be returned to the players.”