Black Friday ended up blocking millions of dollars of the hard earned money of US players. Even today, these millions are still stuck in US player online poker accounts and poker advocates claim that this money may be worth up to $500 million in combined accounts across the Big 3 sites.
However, John Pappas, the executive director of the Poker Players Alliance stated that it would be impossible to give a figure to that number and it could only be a guess from $100 to $500 million.
It was on the 15th of April that the Department of Justice went after the top online poker rooms, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, and they were shut down based on the charges of bank fraud and money laundering. Since then thousands of players are waiting to cash-out their online poker accounts and most of them are poker professionals who only depend on internet poker for their income.
After a few days, PokerStars and Full Tilt entered into an agreement with the authorities and they could then access their domains and websites to release the money from the frozen bank accounts of their US customers.
John Pappas also said, “We understand that players on PokerStars have been receiving payouts already. Full Tilt Poker is in the process of providing those payouts to players. I don’t believe it’s happened in any substantive form yet, although I think they’re just working through some internal issues to get the money back to players…” He also said, “Absolute Poker remains a big question mark…losing the U.S. market was probably a bigger hit to them than for these other companies. They are rumored to be going into bankruptcy. And it’s unclear when or how players are going to be able to get their money back.”
While two of the poker companies have shown some improvement, the other two are nowhere near settling the accounts and returning money to players. Players who were engaged in internet poker with Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet have not received any confirmation and news regarding them receiving any of their funds. There are some legal issues that are being sorted out and the operator Blanca Games Inc. has not made a deal with the Department of Justice unlike the other two sites.
Although, Blanca later reported that all the rumors regarding bankruptcy were not true and that it was related only to Madeira Fjord and its shareholders not receiving their payments in the future from Blanca and hence had filed for bankruptcy.