French poker players left with money on FullTiltPoker.fr when its licence was suspended last year will be reimbursed through PokerStars.fr, it was confirmed today.
The refund procedure, which French regulator ARJEL said “will be in place before November 6, 2012”, was announced at a press conference in Paris this morning convened by ARJEL president Jean-François Vilotte, at which PokerStars.fr was represented by PokerStars’ president of southern Europe, Gino Appiotti.
According to the French regulator, Pokerstars.fr has set up a trust fund in London, “intended to secure all the funds of the French players and ensure repayment in any circumstance.” Stars is required to make all monies owed to Full Tilt’s French players available for withdrawal in full no later than November 9, 2012, as per the terms of its US$731m civil settlement deal with the US government, under which it acquired the assets and non-US liabilities of its former rival.
ARJEL said that it would publish the exact date of the start of the reimbursement procedure on its website, once this was finalised.
To get their Full Tilt balances back, players will need to log in and verify their identity at FullTiltPoker.fr, where they will be presented with a personal code they can then enter over at PokerStars.fr to get a credit equal to the amount they had on the French Full Tilt website.
The French regulator said players credited in this way would be under no obligation to spend the money on PokerStars.fr. “Players can then, if they wish, seek immediate repayment of their assets from their Pokerstars.fr account…Players who have obtained the refund may, at any time, close the account opened on the site www.pokerstars.fr, without being required to participate in any game session thereon”.
ARJEL first suspended the licence of Full Tilt’s French subsidiary, Rekop Ltd, on 4 July last year, a few days after main regulator the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended Full Tilt’s global licence and forced the closure of its dot.com website on 29 June. ARJEL followed suit after it found Full Tilt was unable to prove itself financially capable of repaying French players.
Article written by Stephen Carter