Online Poker Report

Return of Full Tilt Funds One Step Closer for U.S. Players

This article may be outdated. Get the latest news on Black Friday here.

Good news for former American customers of the former Full Tilt Poker: The DoJ has officially named the company who will handle repayment of player balances.

Who is the company handling repayment?

The company identified by the DoJ is the Garden City Group. According to their website:

GCG is the recognized leader in legal administration services for class action settlements, bankruptcy cases and legal noticing programs.

And from the DoJ presser:

GCG is a class action settlement and bankruptcy administration company that has provided comprehensive legal administration services for nearly three decades. GCG has worked on numerous complex administrations, including the Gulf Coast Claims Facility; the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement; the Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation; the WorldCom Securities Litigation; and the IPO Securities Litigation.

You can get a sense of some of the company’s past work here. You can also check out their LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Where can I get more information about getting my Full Tilt balance repaid?

Right now there’s a pretty spartan website from GCG – FullTiltPokerClaims.com – that offers a quick summary of the legal backstory. This will also be the website where you will eventually submit claims for Full Tilt funds.

But you won’t find much in the way of concrete details there yet. Excerpt:

The victim claims process will begin shortly. Information about the claims administration will be posted on this website. Click here to register to receive email notification regarding the commencement of the claim process and other important information.

Please continue to check this website for updates regarding this administration. Once the claim process begins, claimants will be able to submit Petitions for Remission electronically through this website.

You can sign up for email alerts here.

The website also lists an email, toll-free number and a postal address for inquiries.

Toll-free phone: (866) 250-2640

Email: [email protected]

Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 9965
Dublin, Ohio 43017-5965

Random: The website was registered 44 days ago and is owned by Garden City Group.

This is a positive step for players, right?

Yes. While long-awaited and anticipated, the naming of an administrator is an essential step in the process of getting FTP players repaid.

As Rich Muny of the Poker Player’s Alliance put it in a statement:

“I am pleased that the Department of Justice has completed this important milestone in the remission process for victims of Full Tilt Poker. This is, as we have all seen, a lengthy process. While the claims administrator has a lot of work to do before we can expect payments, the naming of the administrator is an important step to making that happen.

I am very happy that the poker community is organized and was able to reach out to the DoJ as a group to make the case successfully that we are fraud victims deserving of remission.

For what it’s worth, I have around five figures on Full Tilt Poker myself and will be working through the exact same process as everyone else. I believe going through this in real time, and the information I will gather as a result, will help me in my role as the player relations point person in this matter.”

I heard players might not get all of their money back. True / false?

Unknown. I think the theory that players would only get deposits, not winnings, returned was first posited over at Forbes.

PokerScout summed up the potential downside well via Twitter:

 

Bottom line: We don’t know yet, but it’s certainly possible players will receive something less than their full balances.

What do we know about the timeline for repayment?

Nothing yet. Today’s news moves us closer to repayment, but the specifics of the actual timetable for repayment of Full Tilt Poker’s U.S. customers remain unclear.

How will the process work?

Each remission process is obviously unique, but he’s a general guide from the DoJ regarding how remission works from the victim’s point of view. The PPA also wrote up a general guide with some helpful information.

How can I check my FTP balance?

 

What should I do now?

Players are still in a holding pattern despite today’s positive news. Without a timeline or a structure, there’s little players can uniquely do to prepare. You might consider:

  • Signing up for email alerts at the GCG website.
  • Reviewing the guide to remissions process above.
  • Gathering any documentation you have related to your Full Tilt account.
  • Gathering any tax documents that might be relevant and researching CPAs who can guide you through what could be a complicated tax process post-remission.

Odds and ends

From the DoJ presser: Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said “The Garden City Group brings a track record of handling the administration of some of the country’s largest and most complicated settlements. With their selection, we take a significant step forward in the process of compensating victims of the Full Tilt Poker scheme.”

Note that he chose to merely call it a “scheme” – not a  “ponzi scheme.”

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Chris Grove
- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.