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Full Tilt Poker Gave Loans to Players Without Telling Them

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jun/20/2011
Full Tilt Poker

In a well-written article appearing on the pages of Subject Poker, writer Noah Stephens-Davidowitz points out what he says was one of the worst kept secrets surrounding Full Tilt Poker and its most interesting “loan program”.

Turns out FTP was loaning money to players without telling them, or so that is the claim.

From at least September of 2010 to February of 2011, Full Tilt Poker was crediting funds to US player accounts for deposits that never left their bank accounts.

This, Stephens-Davidowitz contends, was done via the ACH deposit method that had helped build Full Tilt Poker into the second largest online poker room in the world. 

FTP had a rationale for doing this.  Charges against payment processor Bradley Franzen helped shed light on what was going on.

This (failure to credit funds) was not simply an accident, as many had suspected. Full Tilt Poker was actually accepting deposits and crediting player accounts without payment processors in place to collect the money. Full Tilt had effectively given players loans without telling them, under the assumption that they could collect the debt later. According to numerous sources inside both Full Tilt and PokerStars, FTP viewed this as an opportunity to gain US customers who were unable to deposit on Stars. This activity was so rampant that, according to Franzen’s allocution, the shortfall reached $60 million at its peak. Even for a company of Full Tilt’s size, that is a very large amount of money.

Considering Full Tilt Poker knew they were under investigation, to say this was “reckless behavior” (assuming the story to be true) would have to be one of the biggest understatements of the year. 

To date, US players have not been paid by Full Tilt Poker.  Another indicted online poker company, PokerStars, meanwhile, has paid its customers in full.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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