|PokerStars Agrees Deal with US Department of Justice over Full Tilt Poker|
Online poker site PokerStars announced that it had come to an agreement with the US Department of Justice over the purchase of troubled rival Full Tilt Poker.
As part of the deal, Full Tilt Poker will surrender all its assets to the US government which will then pass the assets over to PokerStars. PokerStars will then have to pay the US government $547 million over three years for those assets.
In good news for players that are owed money by Full Tilt Poker, these players will be able to claim relief from the US Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Service.
PokerStars also then has a 90 day deadline to pay a total sum of $184 million to players outside of the US that are owed money by Full Tilt Poker.
The deal between PokerStars and the US Department of Justice is then finalised when PokerStars pays the initial down payment of $225 million which it is required to do within the next 6 days.
In addition to these terms, the US Department of Justice will drop all money laundering-related charges against individuals linked to PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Chairman of the PokerStars board Mark Scheinberg said “We are delighted we have been able to put this matter behind us, & also secured our ability to operate in the United States of America whenever the regulations allow.”
Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara commented that the deal was done and that it meant the US government could now "quickly get significant compensation into the victim players’ hands”.
The deal also has a couple of stipulations included for the new operation. First of all, Full Tilt Poker will not be re-released under that name. PokerStars will install an independent management team to launch a new brand. The new venture will also not be allowed to enter the Belgian, Danish, Estonian, French, Italian or Spanish markets. The brand will also be allowed to continue to be based in Ireland.
The deal impacts on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker staff as well. PokerStars founder and major shareholder Isai Scheiberg will be forced to resign from his position on the PokerStars board. Several key Full Tilt Poker figures including Ray Bitar, Nelson Burtnick, Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson will not be allowed to be employed by the new brand.
< Back to news index