Oct 10, 2012
Poker Stars revealed details of its plan to repay $184 million to former customers of Full Tilt Poker outside of the United States of America and announced that Full Tilt Poker.com will re-launch during the first week of November.
Poker Stars has been working with regulators in all relevant jurisdictions to ensure that repayment is conducted in strict compliance with local regulatory requirements that ensure the security of player accounts and confirmation of the rightful ownership of those accounts.
Depending upon their jurisdiction, players will follow slightly different processes for accessing their funds.
• France, Spain, Denmark, Estonia and Belgium: In order to comply with local regulations, former Full Tilt Poker players will be repaid through the locally-licensed Poker Stars platform. Players will ‘pair’ a Poker Stars account with their Full Tilt account allowing them to withdraw or use their balances on the licensed Poker Stars site.
• In Italy, Poker Stars is working with regulators to determine the appropriate process to ensure compliance with local regulations. Those details will be announced as soon as possible.
• In all other markets (with the exception of the USA), Full Tilt Poker players will have full access to their accounts when www.Full Tilt Poker.com re-launches during the first week of November.
Poker Stars received the assets of Full Tilt Poker this summer under a wide-ranging agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. As part of that agreement, Poker Stars committed to repaying the former Full Tilt Poker players outside of the United States. The total of those balances is USD$184 million. Poker Stars also paid the U.S. Government USD$547 million, which will in part be used to reimburse former Full Tilt Poker customers in the United States through a remission process to be administered by the U.S. Government.
About Poker Stars:
Poker Stars operates Poker Stars.com, the world’s most popular online poker site that serves the world’s largest poker community with more than 49 million registered members since it launched in December 2001. It is the first choice of the world’s top players, with more daily tournaments than anywhere else, and with the best security online. More hands have been dealt on Poker Stars.com than on any other site; that’s over 85 billion hands and more than 590 million tournaments played.
PokeStars.com and PokerStars.eu operate worldwide under licenses from the Isle of Man and Malta governments, respectively. Poker Stars also operates under separate government licenses in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy and Spain.
Oct 9, 2012
About two months ago Bodog Poker withdrew from 20 countries within Europe and on first glance it seemed like a move to avoid specific countries where online poker regulation is unclear or already established, similar to the move of other competitors such as Genting Poker and IGT earlier this year as well. The list of excluded countries was as follows: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
However, when you tried to launch the BodogUK client in the last two days, you were greeted by the following surprise:
Even though there were claims that this change out of the blue was communicated to the customers, the majority of members on 2+2 reported that there was no such email and we have not been able to confirm it either. The Asian brand Bodog88 and Bodog.ca as well as Bovada (the client for US customers only) are not affected by this move, however no new registrations are accepted and players from Europe will only be able to enjoy the casino product whereas poker and the sportsbook will cease to exist.
It is the first move of a major online gaming company to close down the poker client for players in Europe voluntarily and if you don’t wish to continue with -EV casino games, you can request the withdrawal of your remaining balance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . From what we can tell, all funds are safe and you can even cash out via methods that have not been verified / used before. The customer support is reliable as usual and quick to reply by email, all withdrawals seem to be processed within 24-48 hours.
Oct 9, 2012
Back in December 2010 FeltStars acquired ReeferPoker and it was a headache for quite some time to move all players to the new platform, get all reporting set straight and FeltStars itself was working on their own cashier to speed up the processing. For almost half a year though the result was the complete opposite as the company they hired to get the job done was unable to do so in a reasonable time.
Ultimately and with some pressure, they finally switched to the Merge Gaming network cashier in 2011 and this should play a certain role in the below details as the following notification showed up today when players tried to launch the software of the white label skin:
The very same lack of communication and progress started about 2 months ago once again and private tournaments were not listed anymore, the affiliate payments for August and September were not only delayed but are just done as we speak in the last few days. When asked, FeltStars had the following to say:
Merge has implemented so many unexpected changes to the back end that is was a bit overwhelming. One of those was our ability to create tournaments schedules for our affiliates. To avoid this, my only suggestion is to get your schedule in as early as possible so that it can be forwarded to merge to get in the system. The delay you experienced was just the bottleneck at Merge because of this new policy.
We are currently working with Merge to get this capability back so that you won’t have this experience in the future. We are also attempting to regain control of our cashier, so that Deposits, cashouts, transfers, and affiliate commissions will no longer be delayed.
The last paragraph has been confirmed by other sources as well and FeltStars indeed tried to get their own cashier running again. Furthermore it seems there have been negotiations to look for another network, but as we now know this attempt has not been successful. A somewhat fortunate timing is the fact, that the Merge Gaming network is holding all player funds and thus the player balances are guaranteed.