FullTiltPoker.com Shut Down 2012
In case you haven’t heard the news by now, Full Tilt Poker was shut down by the FBI this past Friday in a move that shows unprecedented authority over crimes that occur in cyberspace. To summarize the issue, Full Tilt was seized by the government DOJ (Department of Justice) for violating several US banking laws that are geared specifically towards how gamblers can make deposits at online casinos. There is no word on when this case will actually make it to trial or what the long term repercussions of this alleged violation will cause; but the results will be anticipated by a global audience nonetheless.
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In the meantime, many of our long term subscribers here at MyPokerBasics have been asking us about what it means for them personally. Like most things that involve gambling, we have both good and bad news to share with you on the topic. Here are some of the emails that we have received and the answers that we have found so far-
“Since Full Tilt Poker was shut down by the FBI, what does that mean for my deposits at their website?”
- Jerry, Miami, Florida
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question. By law Full Tilt owes you any money that you may have deposited inside your account, plus under the circumstances you may be able to recover any bonus money even if it was not fully vested under the Full Tilt terms and conditions. The problem is that nothing will happen until this case goes to trial, so we’re afraid that you’re stuck waiting on the court system to see the best way to proceed.
“Can I be arrested if I gambled at Full Tilt Poker in the past? I don’t want my bank account seized by the Department of Justice just because I gambled at Full Tilt Poker.”
- Mary, San Francisco, California
The laws regarding online gambling on the federal level have nothing to do with US citizens; they are merely restrictions on banks and online casinos. Even if Full Tilt Poker is found guilty on all charges, you did not personally violate the law unless you somehow tricked your bank into wiring money to Full Tilt on your behalf.
“How long will this whole mess with Full Tilt Poker take to clear up?”
- Steve, Houston, Texas
Sorry Steve, that’s another one that we really do not have an answer for. Full Tilt Poker was shut own by the FBI for violating several banking restrictions, and since they are located outside of the United States there will probably be an intermediary involved with the case. This whole process could take years or even longer to be settled.
“Why did Full Tilt Poker take advantage of us like this? Are they really criminals?”
- Beth, Palm Beach, Florida
That would depend on your definition of a criminal. Full Tilt is owned by a company in Alderny, which is a small country to the west of France. No laws were broken within their home country and they may have believed that they were complying with US laws as well. It is really too soon to speculate whether or not Full Tilt Poker was shut down by the FBI for good…we will post more on this as we learn about it.
“Can US citizens that deposited money at Full Tilt Poker form a class-action lawsuit in order to receive our money back?”
- David, Hickory, North Carolina
David, it is really too soon to be talking about civil action. Full Tilt Poker did not intentionally put a block in place to keep you from your deposits, so very few judges would consider this without seeing what happens in the criminal case. If the bank accounts are eventually released back to Full Tilt and they refuse to settle up with players, then we would start talking about law suits.
“Are there any poker sites out there that are accepting US players right now? Of course, I mean legal websites…not ones that will get shut down by the FBI.”
- Mitch, Knoxville, Tennessee
There are actually several poker sites around the net that are still in compliance with the UIGEA and other US laws regarding internet gambling. Our favorite at this point is probably Sportsbook Poker since they have been around for almost twenty years; they’ve never once had any issues with the United States or the banking industry because they do everything strictly by the book. Players Only is another great choice and they treat their customers very well; you definitely will not have any problems there. There’s also Lock Poker, a newer poker site that is extremely popular in Europe and Asia…they also comply with all US standards.