Full Tilt Red Pros to get Funds Returned
If you were a Full Tilt Red Pro (sponsored player) on April the 15th 2011, you’ve been waiting for a decision from the US Department of Justice as to whether you were going to see the funds you had on the poker site that have been locked up since then. Today brought good news for these players, some of which have had literally hundreds of thousands of dollars locked up for over three years.
The Claims Administrator for the distribution of the Full Tilt Funds, Garden City Group, has announced that it has received approval to take the refund requests from “professional players” forward, and will now begin processing those claims. This group of players were assigned the “Professional Player” tag by Full Tilt, and includes “Red” Pros, Friends of Full Tilt, and other similar players. It does not include members of “Team Full Tilt” who are former owners of the site, as they have been barred from receiving any benefits from the sale of the company.
The news was broken when Garden City Group sent notices to those impacted by the decision yesterday, the 4th of August. The notices includes the instructions for filing a claim, as well as information on the evidence that will be required to process these requests.
This group of players are being asked to provide “…the value of proceeds from professional transactions funded by FTP.” The players will also be required to support their request for funds with emails, screen shots, bank statements and other evidence before any funds will be released. Where the evidence is not available, players have been asked to provide a written document explaining the situation, and explaining the lack of paper trail. All previous redemption requests for these players are void, and the Full Tilt Red Pros and others are requested to re-apply, and this new petition will be processed accordingly.
Those hoping that a similar announcement about affiliate payments are still waiting for any sign of movement, and most have resigned themselves to never receiving any part of the money that the original owners of Full Tilt still owe to them. Those awaiting rakeback payments, however, have more to celebrate. According to a FAQ issued by Garden City Group, “The Department of Justice does not consider rakeback an Affiliate payment or professional funding and will include rakeback payments in approved remission amounts. However, if rakeback was labeled by Full Tilt Poker as an Affiliate payment on a particular account and was therefore deducted from the balance, it is the player’s responsibility to dispute the account balance and provide an explanation differentiating rakeback from Affiliate revenue.”
This should mean that companies that had rakeback deals in place with the original Full Tilt Poker are able to apply for these funds. However, it seems that some of these funds have been mislabeled as affiliate payments, which will most likely require further investigation and evidence before final payment is made.
If you have any further questions about this process, Garden City Group has provided an FAQ page to help. If this doesn’t answer your questions, there are also full contact details on the company’s website.
To date, over $100 million has been returned to US-based former Full Tilt players. Payments began in February, but not everyone who has made a request for their funds has paid as yet. Those who disputed the balance information that Garden City Group provided them are still waiting for their funds, more than three years after the actions of Preet Bharara, the US Attorney Office of the Southern District of New York and the US Department of Justice in April 2011.
The Rational Group, which also owns PokerStars and has just been purchased by Amaya Gaming, handed over the funds owed to US-based Full Tilt players before November 2012. Although they offered to disburse the funds to the players, the DoJ required a third party, Garden City Group, to issue the reimbursement to the affected players.