Written On 4/20/11 By Recentpoker.com staff writer Emily Apontif :
TEMPORARY LIFT ON DOMAIN SEIZURES (Update)
DoJ agrees with operators in order to get US player funds paid
In yet another turn to the prosecution of online poker executives by the US Department of Justice, a temporary “use of domains” agreement has been signed between DoJ officials and Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker.
The .com domains of the two companies were seized Friday when Justice officials unsealed indictments for a range of offences related to financial and banking matters.
In a Department of Justice statement, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that the United States had entered into domain-name use agreements with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Bharara said the agreement will facilitate the return of money so that players can register their refund requests directly with Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker.
The US Attorney said that in the legal action taken against 11 persons named in the federal indictments, 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."
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 the two online poker companies 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.
“The deposit of funds by U.S. players is expressly prohibited,” Bahrara notes. “In addition, the agreements do not prohibit, and, in fact, expressly allow for, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to provide for, and facilitate, players outside of the United States to engage in playing online poker for real money. The agreements also require the appointment of an independent Monitor to verify PokerStars’ and Full Tilt Poker’s compliance with the agreements.
“The Government stands to enter the same agreement with Absolute Poker [and UB.com] if it so chooses.”