The US Department of Justice (DoJ) had recently advertised for a claims administrator to process claims in relation to Full Tilt Poker, a brand recently acquired by PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker company. The US government intends to hire the services of a claims administration firm to help it process claims from ex Full Tilt Poker players in the US and refund them. According to the DoJ, the poker room owes around $159 million to around 1.3 million US players.
According to a DoJ spokeswoman, ex Full Tilt Poker players can file claims with the hired claims administrative firm, but the DoJ has still not revealed how long it will take to hire the claims administrator. The DoJ ad requests applicants to file their applications by August 31.
Michael Bancroft of Heffler, Radetich, and Saitta LLP says that the DoJ is most likely to hire firms it is already acquainted with, adding that the US has 20 such companies. Bancroft’s company had been the claims administrator for a settlement case worth $250 million, but Bancroft says that his company hasn’t expressed interest in Full Tilt Poker.
The government usually takes into consideration factors such as pricing and experience before recruiting a firm, opined Bancroft, adding that, if the applicants are equally able, the government will select the company that offers to do the job for the lowest cost. The DoJ has already requested companies that file applications to make a list of “discounted government rates.”
Bancroft says that claims administration firms can employ a number of teams on the job, depending on the number of expected claims. Citing the example of his firm, he said that it employs IT experts, accountants, lawyers, customer care representatives, data entry workers, and others. Regarding the time taken for processing, he said that it depends on the individual case.
Stating that some cases are simpler than the others, he said that only time can tell how long the Full Tilt Poker case will take. Besides, the directors on the Full Tilt Poker board are still booked on various cases.
Thanks to the recent settlement deal signed between PokerStars and the DoJ, the US government has all the funds required to fully refund US players.
Full Tilt Poker lawyer Jeff Ifrah, who was closely associated with the above-mentioned settlement deal, says that, although PokerStars was willing to reimburse US players, the DoJ had decided to reimburse US players on its own.