Wednesday August 1,2012 : POKERSTARS PROVIDES MORE DETAIL ON F.T.P. DEAL (Update)
Agreement opens the way for Pokerstars to operate in any legalised internet poker market that may emerge in the USA
Following yesterday's news that agreement has been reached between Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker and the US Justice Department, Pokerstars directors issued a statement providing further details on the deal:
* The statement confirms that FTP is to forfeit all assets to the US government, which will then transfer these to PokerStars
* Pokerstars will pay $547 million to the US government over the following three years for the assets.
* Owed FTP players will be invited to claim relief from the DoJ Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Service.
* Within 90 days, Pokerstars will directly pay without restriction a further $184 million to owed FTP customers outside the USA
* The agreement becomes effective once Pokerstars pays the initial tranche of $225 million, which it must do within the next six days.
* Importantly, the US government will drop all civil forfeiture and money laundering charges against individuals related to PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, seen by many observers as opening the way for operations in any US legalised online poker market that may evolve.
Mark Scheinberg, chairman of the Pokerstars board, said: “We are delighted we have been able to put this matter behind us, and also secured our ability to operate in the United States of America whenever the regulations allow.”
The statement additionally notes that PokerStars plans to re-open Full Tilt Poker within 90 days of the formal implementation of the deal, which will occur within the next seven days after the $225 million payment.
It appears that FTP will be operated as a separate brand under a "new, independent management team," and that Pokerstars is putting together a scheme that will also give FTP players value for their loyalty points.
Management at Pokerstars will not seek to enter the France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium or Estonian markets with the FTP brand, and there are plans to make possible financial transactions between accounts in both brands.
Full Tilt's presence in Ireland will be maintained, although legal compliance and regulatory supervision will be transferred to Pokerstars' Isle of Man offices.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, has confirmed the deal in an official statement, saying that the deal has allowed the US government to "quickly get significant compensation into the victim players’ hands."
Pokerstars management did not escape completely unscathed; founder and major stakeholder Isai Scheinberg, one of the Black Friday indictees, will have to resign from any management function in the company.
Punitive measures impacting Full Tilt Poker management include a clause restricting Pokerstars from hiring FTP directors like Ray Bitar, Nelson Burtnick, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst.