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Third Round of Full Tilt Payments Coming Thursday

The Garden City Group (GCG), authorized by the United States Department of Justice to be the Claims Administrator for the reimbursement of frozen Full Tilt Poker funds, announced Tuesday that the third round of payments will be sent out this week.

In a June 10th update on its site, fulltiltpokerclaims.com, GCG indicated that those in this latest wave who have been approved for payment and have submitted complete, correct banking information will soon receive an e-mail with the amount of their payment; those payments are expected to be made electronically on Thursday, June 12th.

Of course, that implies that there were people whose submitted bank information did not pass GCG’s testing. Those former Full Tilt Poker customers should have received an e-mail on June 6th about how to update their information on the Claim Administrator’s site. They have until June 25th to do so, but if that still does not happen, hope is not lost. Anyone who still can’t figure out how to type their bank account info into a web form will simply receive a paper check in the mail in a future round of payments. That is, if their address is correct. DOJ

At the end of May, the Garden City Group originally announced this third round of payments, but just gave the middle of June as an approximate time frame. This round will include about 3,500 payments totaling approximately $15 million.

The first round of payments to former U.S. customers of Full Tilt Poker went out to over 27,500 people on February 28th of this year and amounted to about $76 million. The second round was sent on April 1st: 2,200 people, $5 million.

While the reimbursement process has obviously been a slow one, considering it took three years for people to get paid back after Black Friday, it does look like just about everybody is being made whole. One of the biggest sticking points in the whole process was how refunds to Full Tilt poker affiliates were handled. Originally, affiliates were denied reimbursements completely. Fortunately, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) sat down with the U.S. Department of Justice and convinced it that affiliates should get their money back. Again, though, there was a catch: affiliates would only be given their funds acquired through actual poker play, not from their affiliate businesses.

The mini-drama was still not over, though. Many affiliates found that the money the GCG said they should be repaid did not match what the affiliates themselves believed they were owed. As it turned out, the GCG did not differentiate between money deposited into an affiliate’s account that was a business payment from Full Tilt and money deposited that was rakeback. Both were labeled as affiliate payments because they both were affiliate payments, but they were clearly not equivalent. One was earned from an affiliate business, while one was earned from playing poker.

The PPA stepped in again, helping the Department of Justice and GCG understand the problem and it was agreed that affiliates should be allowed to receive their rakeback funds. Because of the way the records GCG has from Full Tilt are designed, though, GCG has no way to tell what money is for affiliate payments and what money is for rakeback. Thus, affiliates are required to show evidence of what they are owed.

The other special cases in the entire reimbursement process are those former Full Tilt players who have unpaid debts to the government such as delinquent taxes. To let GCG explain (from May 28th):

Please be advised that there are Petitioners who are eligible for payment in the upcoming round of payments, but who have a delinquent debt qualifying for collection through the Treasury Offset Program. Payments for these Petitioners will be reduced in order to satisfy their debt in part or in whole. A notice will be sent to these Petitioners in the upcoming weeks and will include a Unified Financial Management System Vendor Request Form, which must be completed by the Petitioner in order to receive the balance of his or her payment. Please note that Petitioners who were previously approved for payment and were notified that they had a delinquent debt qualifying for collection through the Treasury Offset Program, but who still have not returned a completed form will not receive payment until a completed form is submitted.

It is unknown how many more rounds of payments will be made, but the vast majority of money does appear to have been returned to U.S. customers. The latest post on the GCG site does imply that there will be at least one more wave of payments after the one coming this week.


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