Online poker players to be reunited with cash

Posted today at 10:52 a.m.

Online poker players in the United States will be able to withdraw money from accounts associated with two Internet poker companies recently indicted for bank fraud and money laundering, federal authorities said Wednesday.

The U.S. government has agreed to allow PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, two of the three largest Internet poker companies, to resume use of domain names that had been shut down last week.

Under the “domain name use agreements“ the companies will be able to reactivate and to “facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. players’ funds held in account with the companies.“

The agreement also allows for players outside of the United States to resume playing for “real money.“

Prosecutors said the same agreement is open to Absolute Poker, the third company indicted last week, if it chooses to accept.

On April 15, federal authorities unsealed a sweeping indictment and civil complaint against 11 people in the United States and abroad, including the founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.

The government alleges that the companies, based offshore, used a network of payment processors to set up fraudulent U.S. bank accounts to launder money from online poker players in the United States.

While gambling is legal in some U.S. states, a 2006 law prohibits companies from knowingly accepting money from U.S. citizens for gambling online.

The government had filed “restraining orders“ against several bank accounts and the domain names used by the poker companies. However, prosecutors contend that the companies were never required to freeze player accounts.

Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said no player accounts were ever frozen or restrained, and each poker company has been free to reimburse any player’s deposited funds.

“In fact, this office expects the companies to return the money that U.S. players entrusted to them, and we will work with the poker companies to facilitate the return of funds to players,“ Bharara said in a statement.

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One comment:

  1. TRS Today at 12:52 pm

    This is great news for US based players…but the question is how will the poker sites process withdrawals? The government seized all of the US based bank accounts…which were used for transferring money to/from the players? Anyone know what cashout options FT or PS are offering?

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