Nearly six years since Black Friday decimated the online poker industry the Department of Justice announced earlier this week that former customers of Absolute Poker would be compensated for money lost when the site shut down.
In April 2011 the Department of Justice dealt the deathblow to not only Absolute Poker, but also PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Customer account balances were either frozen or lost due to the Department of Justice’s indictments against the sites.
PokerStars already paid out to compensate their customers, and after they purchased Full Tilt they also took part in the payout of that site’s former players as well. According to the Department of Justice $118 million has already been returned to former Full Tilt customers.
Absolute Poker negotiated a settlement with the government in July 2013 to forfeit their assets, but it’s taken years to finally get to payouts. The Department of Justice disclosed that Absolute Poker made approximately $500 million since launching in 2008 and $60 million was lost by customers when it was forced to shut down.
DOJ Release on Absolute Poker
In a release the Department of Justice stated that “players of Absolute Poker who were unable to recover their funds from Absolute Poker are similarly situated to the eligible victims of Full Tilt Poker, in that Absolute Poker, like Full Tilt Poker, did not maintain funds sufficient enough to repay all of its players.”
To provide information to players eligible to recover money from Absolute Poker the Department of Justice has set up a website at www.absolutepokerclaims.com. An information phone line has also been set up at (855) 907-3254. A deadline for filing a petition has been set for June 9.
The job of handling payouts to former Absolute Poker customers has been assigned to Garden City Group by the Department of Justice. They are the same firm that handled the distribution of funds from Full Tilt Poker.
Garden City Group announced that Absolute Poker customers will be paid all money they held in their account when the site was shut down, but only if the money obtained through the forfeiture agreement covers it.