PPA’s Pappas: More US Full Tilt Refunds in Near Future

Unofficial but highly placed word has arrived that US-based Full Tilt Poker claims administrator Garden City Group will soon be issuing another wave of remission payments to former customers of the original Full Tilt site.  Though GCG has yet to verify the upcoming wave of payments, advance notice was distributed via social media by John Pappas, Executive Director of the US-based Poker Players Alliance.

full-tilt-logo-newPappas and the PPA have remained in contact with GCG throughout the years-long remission process, which was initiated a few months after PokerStars purchased the assets of the original Full Tilt in conjunction with the settling of its own complex case with American authorities.  That 2012 settlement set aside some $184 million for the refunding of balances owed to former US Full Tilt players, while then-PokerStars-parent Rational Group received the proverbial lock, stock and barrel: global rights and assets to Full Tilt, excepting the then-closed US market.

Pappas’s advance notice indicates that the next wave is likely to arrive in October, though depending on the usual bank-testing protocols, it may be November before this wave’s payments are sent.  Here’s what Pappas posted:

Hi all — I just spoke my contact at DOJ AFMLS and learned that another batch is ready to be issued, but it could still be a few weeks till it hits player bank accounts. This next wave includes roughly 2,000 petitioners totaling $5.7M in funds. These are petitioners with disputed funds, those with missing info and those who they consider “new petitioners” (e.g. did not file with valid log-in credentials).

The remission has been approved. They expect about 1-2 weeks to transfer the money to GCG, then GCG will do its bank testing and finally, the money will arrive.

My contact says this leaves about 3,800 petitions unresolved. Most of them are “new petitioners” and there are some others, including pro-players, who are mixed into that bunch. There was no timeline provided for those final petitions, but the expectation was that they could all be done at once.

That is all the info I have for now. Be checking fulltiltpokerclaims.com for their official updates.

John A. Pappas
Poker Players Alliance

This wave was tentatively expected to be processed late in the third quarter of 2015, though lingering difficulties with a payment wave initiated in May of June may have resulted in the extra days.  The upcoming wave represents the seventh such wave of payments, which have been distributed as follows by Ohio-based CGC, working closely with the US’s Department of Justice:

  • February, 2014: $76 million, 27,500 accounts
  • April, 2014: $5 million, 2,200 accounts
  • June, 2014: $14 million, 3,200 accounts
  • September, 2014: $1.8 million, 600 accounts
  • March, 2015: $2.8 million, 3,500 accounts
  • June, 2015: $4 million, approx. 4,000 accounts
  • (October, 2015): $5.7 million, 5,700 accounts

An overall summary of the above would indicate that roughly $109 million will have been refunded to about 47,000 one-time US players when the coming round is complete.  However, due to recurring banking difficulties with a handful of accounts, those totals are likely slightly inflated from the real numbers.

What appears certain, however, is that even with 3,800 accounts yet to go (including what is believed to be a disproportionate percentage of Full Tilt “pros” and other high-balance accounts), the US government and claims administrator GCG will divvy up tens of millions of dollars in overage left from the process.  With at least $75 million remaining from the Stars set-aside (and the US government and GCG not paying interest on the long-delayed refunds), a healthy, government-sanctioned slice of the pie will remain in Uncle Sam’s hands.

No timetable has been set for that eighth and possibly final “wave” of payments, which might dissipate into a long stream of individually reviewed payments approved and processed in 2016, 2017 and beyond. Most former American Full Tilt players have now received their refunds, but that’s scant comfort for the thousands that continue to wait.


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