PokerStars Settles Online Gambling Lawsuit For $731 Million & Buys Its Rival To Boot

First there were three online poker companies facing charges of illegal internet gambling, and now there are only two, after the Department of Justice announced it’d brokered a deal worth $731 million in customer reimbursements. To settle the civil charges of money laundering and bank fraud, PokerStars says it will buy out the assets of its rival, Full Tilt and pay the government.

Absolute Poker was the other company hit with the charges last year, and it will forfeit its assets to the government. None of the companies admitted any wrongdoing, reports Reuters, even as Poker Stars pledges to reimburse Full Tilt customers around the world in the next three years with the settlement money it’s paying to the government for that purpose.

There are still criminal charges against the owners and employees of the gaming companies, which will continue.

Last year prosecutors accused the three companies of getting sneaky with regulators and banks in order to get billions of dollars of illegal Internet gambling proceeds processed for players. The payments were allegedly disguised as payments to non-existent online merchants for various products.

Full Tilt was accused of operating a Ponzi scheme of sorts — investigators said it didn’t keep enough money on hand for players to collect winnings and instead used more than $400 million in player funds to pay board members and other owners.

Online poker companies settle with U.S.; two to combine [Reuters]



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  1. Coffee says:

    This thing stinks…it stinks bad. The fact that the companies can reach a settlement that involves no admission of wrongdoing while the people who run the companies go to prison for a ponzi scheme speaks to just how ridiculous our civil/criminal court systems can be.

    • huadpe says:

      Actually I’m fine with this. They would never admit fault since that would mean they’d instantly lose their criminal trials, and this way DOJ gets the money back for the players they defrauded.

      The company no longer operates in the US, the execs are facing jail, and the players get their money back. I’m not sure what else you’d ask for.

  2. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Works for me. I’ll finally get my decent chunk of bankroll back from Tilt.

    Still sucks that a lot of my friends who play professionally still have to live offshore to keep earning their living.

  3. ShannonFisher says:

    Well, gambling is inherently shady…

    I wonder if things are going to get better or worse with legalization and deregulation. If you check out the original article some laws are openly not even enforced anymore.

  4. HealingTek says:

    I don’t absolve FullTilt of wrongdoing, but how is what they were doing any less fraudulent than fractional reserve banking – the principle upon which all banks operate? If they’re going to be shut down for operating a “Ponzi scheme”, then so should every bank in the country.

  5. CosmosHuman says:

    OK, Can someone tell me how to tether my laptop? I do have extra USB cables. I have a Droid X and unlimited data plan. Has been unlimited (so far) from day one. What apps do I need to install on my phone? What speeds can i expect? Should I cancel my internet service…my guess is probably not.
    Thank you!

    • CosmosHuman says:

      Weird, I tried to post this is the Big Red story…who did it end up here?

    • Murph1908 says:


      I know of a Droid 4 on an unlimited plan that gets tethered to a laptop via EasyTether. It’s free to try, but the free version won’t load secure sites. The full version is $10, and works great.

      Your speeds are ok for general browsing, but I wouldn’t cancel internet service. Flash games can be laggy.

      Download the app from the Android app store, and it’ll give instructions on how to install the client on the laptop. There may also be a Motorola additional driver that needs to be installed. If you have trouble linking, send me an email at murphspam at y@h00 dot kom, and I’ll forward you the troubleshooting solutions I sent to their tech support. I was able to tether my previous phone without any issues at all, but the Motorolla gave a little trouble at the beginning. But since it’s been flawless.