In what is probably one of the end game moves in the sordid saga that was triggered by Black Friday, thousands of poker players might soon get to see the color of their money from Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. This is certainly good news but it might not be to the entire liking of the affected players.
On April 15, which came to be known as Black Friday for online poker sites in the United States, the Department of Justice (DoJ) cracked down without warning on some of the major online poker sites operating in the country. The DoJ seized the domain names of some of the biggest online gambling sites as well as assets associated with these companies. The assets included bank accounts with millions of dollars of players’ money.
The DoJ has since filed charges of fraud and other crimes on the owners and directors of these sites. The cases are being tried at present with all parties concerned filing numerous petitions and counter petitions on different aspects of the cases.
One of the major bones of contention has been the frozen bank accounts containing vast amounts of money that were associated with the companies. Much of these funds are monies owed to players. After the freeze, the players were left in the lurch since they were unable to get back the amounts that had been credited into their player accounts at the affected sites.
Now, apparently, there is some light at the end of the tunnel for at least the erstwhile players of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.
According to some confidential information unearthed by Adam Small of PocketFives, the two sites – Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet – are beginning procedures to officially close operations. As part of these procedures, customers will be finally paid back from the funds available in the frozen bank accounts of these two companies.
There is a catch though – a potentially disappointing one for the players. It seems more than likely that the players will not receive the full amounts that are owed to them. Small revealed that the money received will be significantly lower than the total amount that each player is technically owed. He said that each player might receive only as little as less than 25 cents for each dollar owed.
Absolute Poker’s co-founder, Brent Beckley, has pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against him by the Department of Justice. It is however unclear whether players will have legal avenues to recover all the money that is actually owed to them.