In a press release today the U.S. government stated it has reached a domain name use agreement with Full Tilt poker and PokerStars for the returning of U.S. poker players deposited money.
According to the press release it was announced by Preet Bharara , the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, that:
“No individual player accounts were ever frozen or restrained, and each implicated poker company has at all times 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, as today’s agreements with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker demonstrate.”
The press release goes on to say:
“Under the terms of the agreements with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the companies agreed that they would not allow for, facilitate, or provide the ability for players located in the United States to engage in playing online poker for “real money” or any other thing of value. The agreements allow for PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to use the pokerstars.com and fulltiltpoker.com domain names to facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. players’ funds held in account with the companies.”
Bharara said this agreement will also extend to Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet if they so choose to.Read the press release in its entirety.
Based on this information it is good news for online poker players, some with a lot of money sitting in accounts with these sites but also goes to show the intent of the U.S. Government. Are they afraid of a class action lawsuit from U.S. poker players whose funds have been lost? Are they just looking for a quick buck and not a legal battle of the gray area of the UIGEA?
We will probably never know the true intent and can now only await the next chapter to see when and if U.S. players can play online poker again.