Speculation regarding Full Tilt Poker payments rampant

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 11, 2012 Posted in Online Poker News, Op-Ed | No Comments »

PokerStars versus Full TiltTrying to keep up with all of the divergent opinions, speculation, and small kernels of facts that have been presented in the wake of the DOJ agreeing to settle with PokerStars and at the same time sell the assets of Full Tilt Poker to their longtime rival. The biggest debate is of course over the repayment of US players, and not only how and when it will take place, but what the fine print will involve. Recently one of the Full Tilt Poker attorneys who worked on the deal spoke to Forbes Magazine and explained a good deal of his understanding of the process going forward.

Will Full Tilt players receive their account balances or deposit amounts?

While he was unwilling to rule it out, according to Ifrah there was never any mention of paying back players for their deposits instead of their account balances:

“Given the fact that the government allowed PokerStars to pay back its customers 100 cents on the dollar after Black Friday, I’m kind of surprised to see the poker community jumping to that conclusion so quickly,” Ifrah told Forbes, adding “We worked very hard over the past 15 months to make sure there’s enough deposited into the [DOJ’s] remission fund to cover reimbursements at 100 percent. That’s what I expect to happen.”

Are FTP’s and bonuses going to be included in the payout?

According to Ifrah the $184 million owed to non-US players, and the $150ish million owed to US players already takes into account the FTP’s and bonuses that players had accrued. So it seems as if player fears of losing these fairly valuable assets are without merit:

“The way the calculations were computed included a value for those types of things,” Ifrah said. “So when you hear the number $184 million on the foreign side and the $150 million on the American side, those numbers take into account a value for bonuses, points and promotions.”

What about taxes?

Taxes are the real unknown in the whole deal, and players with a few thousand dollars to players with millions are left wondering if they should file a remission form to reclaim their funds (yes the thought of tax evasion charges and full audits probably have some poker players fearful enough to leave six-figures unclaimed!).

PokerNewsBoy.com has already talked at length about the Remission Process and the Potential Tax Implications, which you can read in full by following the links provided.



What about players who sold their FTP money?

Another interesting issue that has grabbed some attention from the poker community is the account balances of players who sold their Full Tilt money at a discounted rate. Not only will the tax implications potentially affect these deals but there is surely a high likelihood that some players tried to freeroll their peers by claiming to have more in their Full Tilt accounts than they really had.


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