Thursday June 30, 2011 : Online poker giant has already paid $120 million in refunds to US players
In an oblique commentary on the trials and tribulations facing Full Tilt Poker following yesterday’s suspension of its Alderney licence, its main rival PokerStars issued a statement Wednesday.
The statement reminded players that Pokerstars is still the only one of the three sites named in the Black Friday action by US enforcement officials that has paid its players, due mainly to the requirement of its licensing authority that player monies be ring-fenced in segregated accounts.
"In light of today's news that Alderney Gambling Control Commission has suspended Full Tilt Poker’s licence, PokerStars wishes to assure our customers that their funds are completely safe and that our operations are completely unaffected,” the statement reads.
“The Isle of Man Gaming Commission today re-affirmed that PokerStars' worldwide licensing is intact and that our operations are in full compliance with all of its requirements. PokerStars' online operations continue as normal and all funds in players' accounts are safe and available for withdrawal as usual with no delays.
“PokerStars also remains in full compliance with our licenses in other jurisdictions where we are regulated, including France, Italy and Estonia.
“As provided under our licensing, PokerStars has always maintained the integrity and security of our players' funds, by keeping all such funds in segregated bank accounts, always available for immediate withdrawal.
“Since the actions of US Department of Justice in April, we have returned more than $120 million to US players and continue to act upon requests as they are received. Players outside the US have not been affected and all cash-outs have been processed without delays.
“Further, PokerStars entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice which expressly confirmed the company's ability to operate outside the US.
“We will continue to operate as a responsible corporate citizen and are committed to serving the needs of our customers in complete compliance with our regulatory requirements."
In sharp contrast to this professional and factual communication, Full Tilt Poker emailed players late Wednesday confirming the Alderney suspension, but disappointingly failed to deliver any fresh positive news on payments to players.
The rather casual email advised players:
“As you have heard, the Alderney Gaming Control Commission (AGCC) has suspended Full Tilt Poker’s license with immediate effect, subject to a formal hearing late July.
“Full Tilt is in ongoing discussions with the AGCC with the aim of rectifying the situation as soon as possible, therefore re-enabling real money play on the site.
“Unfortunately, until this is resolved Full Tilt Poker is unable to facilitate any play, and this includes deposits and withdrawals.
“Full Tilt Poker are deeply sorry for this inconvenience and will update you as and when there is further information available.”