Get Your Seized Money Back
It was big news a few years ago when all of the money deposited by American players at Full Tilt Poker was seized by the U.S. government because of allegations of extensive money laundering. Recently, the Garden City Group issued a statement through Full Tilt’s site saying that about 30,000 people would have their funds released, a total of about $82 million in cash. GCG is working in conjunction with the Department of Justice to help make this happen, using a third party bank to help with processing things, and so far, things are looking good for the former users of the site. GCG is the officially designated claims administrator as retained by the U.S. government, so they have quite a bit of authority on getting these things accomplished finally.
The fact that the DOJ is actually considering this and appears to be moving forward could be a harbinger of things to come for poker legislation in the future. A couple years back, there was absolutely no room for negotiations. But since then, three states have since legalized online poker. The shaky ground that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was originally built on is starting to come unhinged, thanks in part to the fact that infringed upon state sovereignty. Whatever the reasoning for all of this, it is a great thing for poker players all over the country. It might take several years before more states jump on with New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, but with this latest budging of position by the Federal government, things are slowly getting better.
If you have an undisputed claim with Full Tilt and filed it on time, you should be expecting an email from the site over the coming weeks with more information. Obviously this is subject to change, but as of right now, this is the current plan. Hopefully, things will keep progressing forward on this front.
In the meantime, there’s not much else you can do with this current situation. Things are being largely determined by the government, through the DOJ, and that means it will more than likely be a slow and drawn out process. Still, it’s a big step forward for the online poker community in the U.S., even if it did take a few years for it to happen.
According to the Garden City Group’s website, the deadline for these things happening is set at March 31st, 2014, and at the current moment, although the deadline is still two months away, things look like they are on pace to be completed by that timeframe. Again, this might change, but hopefully any changes will be for the better and not the worse.
The deadline for an application to request the release of your funds was back in November, so if you missed this, you are not going to be amongst the 30,000 accounts getting their money back. However, you will probably have a chance in the future to reclaim your funds.
Also, be aware that other sites were also involved in the seizure of funds when it originally occurred. PokerStars, for example, was one of the bigger ones. This release of confiscated cash does not include other sites, just Full Tilt. The good news is that because one site was able to do this, others will likely be able to, as well. If you had cash on PokerStars, keep paying attention to the news so that you do not miss your first chance to get that hard earned money back in your possession. It might even happen quickly now that Full Tilt has paved the way for others.