Online poker giant PokerStars reached a settlement today with the US Department of Justice. As part of the settlement agreement, PokerStars will fully acquire former poker rival Full Tilt Poker for a reported $731 million. PokerStars will pay $547 million to the US Government over a three-year period.
The deal ensures that all former Full Tilt players with delinquent balances will be paid. PokerStars will pay $184 million to non-US players with no restrictions, and an unspecified amount of the $547M paid to the US Gov. will be used to cover payments to US players. The US Gov. will administer payment to US players.
Sportsbook Review reported earlier this month that disgraced Full Tilt CEO Raymond Bitar
was arrested after surrendering to federal authorities.
“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,” said Poker Stars Chairman Mark Scheinberg.
A major victory for PokerStars is that the Isle of Man based company does not have to admit wrongdoing as per the settlement with the US DOJ. This means that PokerStars is free to apply to any US gaming authority to offer real money gaming in the future; perhaps even for a Nevada interactive gaming license
The charges against PokerStars will be formally dismissed after the first three payments are received, according to a report by ESPN.
Poker Stars plans to relaunch Full Tilt poker in most markets as a unique brand, following the appointment of new managers.