Up To $500 Million Still In US Online Poker AccountsMay 11, 2011 8:21 am
Following Black Friday, US players are still waiting to be refunded up to $500 million from their online poker accounts, according to the head of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA).
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As PPA executive director John Pappas explains: “It would be easy to say that tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, have kind of been held up in limbo here because of the DOJ action. It’s impossible to put an exact number on it. I would estimate at least $100 million if not as much as $500 million.”
Since April 15th when the Department Of Justice went after the four biggest online poker rooms operating in the US market, thousands of players have been waiting to cash-out their funds from PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.
Fortunately, both PokerStars and Full Tilt subsequently agreed deals with authorities which enabled them to access and release the money from frozen bank accounts in order to reimburse their US customers.
“We understand that players on PokerStars have been receiving payouts already. Full Tilt Poker is in the process of providing those payouts to players. I don’t believe it’s happened in any substantive form yet, although I think they’re just working through some internal issues to get the money back to players,” continued Pappas.
However, the fate of those players with money held at either Absolute Poker or Ultimate Bet remains much less certain, as the sites’ operator Blanca Games Inc. has yet to conclude a deal with the DOJ and indicated they would have to deal with their legal issues first.
“Absolute Poker remains a big question mark…losing the U.S. market was probably a bigger hit to them than for these other companies. They are rumored to be going into bankruptcy. And it’s unclear when or how players are going to be able to get their money back,” explained John Pappas.
We will endeavour to keep the poker community updated to any new developments following the Black Friday indictments as efforts continue to resolve outstanding issues.