A US District Court has dismissed civil claims filed by a group of ex Full Tilt Poker players against Full Tilt Poker units and 10 executive officers in a bid to get back the funds they had lost when the US Department of Justice (DoJ) cracked down on Full Tilt Poker, seized its domain name and assets, and arrested key people associated with it.
The case is related to the events of April 15, 2011, a day commonly referred to as Black Friday by the members of the online poker gaming community. It was the day on which the US Department of Justice (DoJ) cracked down upon major online poker rooms Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and the Cereus Network sites absolute Poker and UB Poker, seized their domain names, and charged key people associated with these sites of on multiple counts of illegal gambling, bank fraud, and money laundering.
While PokerStars and UB Poker subsequently recovered, Full Tilt Poker is still up to its neck in trouble. Although PokerStars immediately refunded its US poker players, Full Tilt Poker has still not been able to refund its players all over the world.
The players had sued Full Tilt Poker in June under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of the US federal government. Delivering the verdict yesterday, Leonard B. Sand, the judge of the US District Court, which heard this case, rejected the claim on grounds that they were “too attenuated.”
Sand said, “It remains unclear whether the direct cause of the plaintiffs’ injuries was the decision by the U.S. Attorney’s office to temporarily shut down the Full Tilt poker website and seize the company’s assets or was instead as plaintiffs’ conversion allegations suggest, the subsequent decision by one or more of the defendants to halt player withdrawals.”
One of the defendants was Full Tilt Poker; however, it was not among the five parties that requested a dismissal of the civil claim. The judge, however, has permitted that the case can be moved forward against three of these units, but the case against the other two requires to be amended.
Meanwhile, the French investment company Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) is on the verge of acquiring Full Tilt Poker for $80 million. The acquisition deal, however, is still in progress, and if it is successful, Full Tilt Poker’s US players will be refunded by the DoJ while GBT will refund players from the rest of the world.