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Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars Should Return Players Money Shortly

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Jun/10/2009

A lot of poker players have been uneasy in recent days after learning that the US Attorney's office out of New York State seized $30 million from the world's two largest online poker rooms, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

Past experience tells us that players shouldn't worry.

That's because when Bodog had $24 million of its funds seized from the US Attorney's office out of Baltimore, players were paid after a very brief waiting period.

The Bodog seizures are not unlike that of what has transpired over the past week with Full Tilt and PokerStars, though online poker advocates at the time insisted the payment processor at the center of this investigation also handled money transactions for sports betting (a la Bodog Sports). 

Bodog assumed the loss and did not pass its predicament onto customers. 

Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars should have the capacity to do the same, though Full Tilt Poker representative Michele Clayborne has ordered the company not to have any dealings with Gambling911.com.  The overzealous Clayborne assumed her power trip last week in a ranting phone conversation with our own highly respected reporter, Jenny Woo.  This prevents us from reassuring customers of their plight, Several hundred such customers have already come to the Gambling911 website seeking answers. 

We can only direct them to a civil matter in order to get some idea of how solid Full Tilt Poker might be:  Clonie Gowen vs. Full Tilt Poker.  The complaint filed by Ms. Gowen contends that Full Tilt Poker has a value of $4 billion.  Ms. Gowen claims to have had an "ownership" interest in Full Tilt Poker.  Assuming such an assertion to be correct, $30 million to Full Tilt Poker would be the cost of a month's worth of bus or subway tokens to paupers like those of us here at Gambling911.  And we understand that $30 million is split somewhere between Full Tilt and PokerStars. 

In the end, both companies are considered reputable and Gambling911 does not see this as a long drawn out waiting process like what we witnessed with the online gambling payment processor, Neteller, back in 2007.  The US Attorney's office out of New York also seized funds belonging to Neteller after arresting its co-founders. 

While customers may have little to worry about, online poker affiliates might.

A series of investigations into the online sports betting industry has resulted in dozens of sports handicapping services and other similar website ventures receiving subpoenas from the US Government and other law enforcement agencies. 

With $30 million seized and the US Attorneys office alluding to "money laundering" in letters sent to certain banks, one can only assume the recent actions taken against Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars is just the tip of the iceberg. 

The Poker Players Alliance, through its President, John Pappas, has demanded that the US Government notify them of any upcoming seizures.  We're confident the DOJ intends to send future memos out to the PPA alerting of upcoming money seizures, about as confident as we are that Martians will land on the White House lawn tomorrow. 

Jagajeet Chiba reporting for Gambling911.com         

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