PokerStars has said that today’s US DOJ-approved civil settlement to acquire the assets and liabilities of ex-rival Full Tilt will allow it to apply for licensing in a future regulated US online poker market.
As part of today’s settlement, which will see PokerStars forfeit US$547m to the US government to acquire the assets of Full Tilt and provide for the repayment of US$184m to non-US players left out of pocket when it was closed down last June, the poker room’s head of communications Eric Hollreiser commented:
“Our settlement acknowledges that both PokerStars and Full Tilt are eligible to apply for a license in the US to offer real-money poker when states or the federal government offer such an opportunity. “
Hollreiser added that the company looked forward to the opportunity to re-introduce the brands to the US market on a legal, regulated basis, and said it was confident of bringing “tremendous value, regulatory experience, market credibility and financial integrity to the marketplace.”
According to the Manhattan US Attorney, today’s agreement, which saw all civil forfeiture and money laundering charges against the companies dropped, did not “constitute admissions of any wrongdoing, culpability, liability, or guilt by any parties”, with Hollreiser also confirming that the slate had effectively been wiped clean as far as PokerStars’ previous US operations were concerned. “We have admitted to no wrong-doing with regard to our past U.S. operations,” he said today.
The US Attorney’s office today filed a motion requesting that a settlement agreement be entered into with the third company against which the US government filed charges within last April’s Black Friday indictments, Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet. This requires the company to forfeit all of its assets to the US government for purposes of liquidation, “with the net proceeds of that sale to be held pending the resolution of claims filed by other parties who have asserted an ownership interest in the Absolute Assets,” according to US federal prosecutors today.