Americans Continue to Wait for Full Tilt Poker Refunds
Back in March, the United States Department of Justice announced that the Garden City Group (GCG) would be utilized to process remission claims for former American players at Full Tilt Poker.
At that time, the website FullTiltPokerClaims.com was setup and players were urged to register for further updates. More than 3 1/2 months have passed with very little information coming from the company in terms of when the process will begin and if an article at PokerUpdate.com is any indication, we may not hear anything anytime soon.
The reports suggests that the caseload at CGG could be so large that the Full Tilt case will not receive any priority and that the process of processing refunds will not be expedited in any way.
Taking a look at the claims processing site, the following update was provided on May 29th:
"GCG recently received data from Full Tilt Poker with respect to United States players. GCG is reviewing the data with the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (the "USAO") and the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the United States Department of Justice (the "DOJ") to ensure that it is interpreted accurately and to develop an appropriate calculation formula for payments. The data is extensive and it will take some time to complete the review. GCG is working expeditiously with the USAO and DOJ so that the claims process can commence as soon as possible."
Two things stick out to me in regards to this statement. The first is "don't expect payments for you Full Tilt account anytime soon." The other is the "calculation formula for payments" mentioned by the GCG. It has been suggested that players likely will not receive the full amount of their former accounts but this in my opinion would all but guarantee this.
Personally, I still have a few questions regarding the remission process:
â¢ Will the formula be released to the public prior to claims being processed or will it remain a mystery?
â¢ What will happen to those that had "phantom deposits" and were winning players?
â¢ Will those who built bankrolls from freerolls be paid?
â¢ Will those that received funds on Full Tilt from player-to-player transfers receive a refund?
The first question is obviously for sake of transparency and to get an idea of what players can expect to be paid. In regards to the other three, those questions could affect a good number of users, including myself.
Personally, I only made 2 deposits on Full Tilt in my life. The first was when I opened my account and the other was in 2006 when I took a portion of my live bankroll and put it online. Afterwards, any money that came into my account that was not from playing poker on the site was in the form of player-to-player transfers.
P2P transfers were used by players for just about everything under the sun. I've even had some former clients pay me via FTP transfer. I can't even guess how many transfers I made when I backed folks over at ChipMeUp. Will GCG count money received via P2P transfers as legit funds? If not, that is a large chunk of money that could be discarded.
What about the winning players who funded their accounts via the "phantom deposits" that occurred in the months leading up to Black Friday. Say a player deposited $50 and then ran that up to $500 or $1,000. Will the GCG view the money won as legit or will they claim that they money was equal to play money. Granted, another option there would be to refund the money won on the site and not the initial deposit.
Finally, what about those that built their bankrolls via freerolls? These players never deposited a dime to play on the site and as such could be viewed as not truly suffering any "financial losses."
For now, all we can do is sit back and wait for the remission process to finally begin. The question remaining is how long we have to wait.