The first round of repayments will be sent by the Garden City Group, the claims administrator in charge of reimbursing US players who lost their money when Full Tilt Poker shut down shortly after Black Friday.
Over 30,000 online poker players in the United States will be reimbursed about $82 Million by the end of February.
Following customer’s inability to withdraw their funds online after the website shut down, and after becoming evident that the company did not possess the players’ deposits, estimated in the area of $300 million, in September 2011, the US Department of Justice accused the owners of Full Tilt Poker of stealing funds and Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, accused Full Tilt of operating a global Ponzi scheme.
In April 2012, PokerStars reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice that would see them take over Full Tilt in addition to agreeing to settle the company’s debts to US Full Tilt players. In exchange, it settled its civil claim with the DOJ, admitted to no wrongdoing, and acquired the assets of Full Tilt Poker.
It should be noted that, after Black Friday, any US players from PokerStars were refunded promptly directly from the site.
The money to be paid out this month is only the first stage. A large number of players have disputed the amount that the administrator claimed they were owed and these players will need to wait a while longer. The Full Tilt Pros, affiliates also need to wait a while longer.