GCG Receives 41,000 Claims from Former FTP Players
November 16 was the deadline set by the Garden City Group (GCG), a company hired by the US federal government to handle Full Tilt Poker claims, for victims of the online poker site to file their claims. From September 16, GCG sent as email notifications to as many as 1.4 million former players of Full Tilt Poker, giving them detailed instructions on how to file their claims. Within a period of two months, GCG got as many as 41,000 petitions from ex Full Tilt Poker players seeking a refund.
The claims procedure, however, is still in progress. The GCG has published a fresh notice on its official website, stating that it will give a “grace period” after the end of the official period for receipt of claims. The website states: “There will be a limited extension to the November 16 filing deadline for players who are affiliates and for certain players identified as pros in the data supplied by Full Tilt Poker. Such players will have 30 days from notification to submit a petition.”
Full Tilt Poker affiliates, who also happened to be players at the online poker room, as well as Red Pros, a special group of professional poker players who did not form part of the customer base at Full Tilt Poker, had been in a state of confusion. The GCG had initially stated that it wouldn’t reimburse these players. Later, the GCG made some amendments to include affiliate players among those eligible to file claims. The GCG, however, made it quite clear that they would not receive their affiliate payments, but only funds in their online poker accounts. The GCG also announced that the Red Pros were eligible to file claims.
The notice on the GCG website further states: “We are in the process of reviewing petitions filed by (customers) who confirmed their balances online and who have not disputed their FTP account balance or submitted multiple petitions. We expect payments to be made with respect to such petitions with confirmed balances by March 31, 2014.” The payments will be made through eChecks to players’ bank accounts.
The GCG is expected to process the 41,000 petitions it has already received quickly. These petitions are from former Full Tilt Poker players who are not contesting the data supplied by Full Tilt Poker to GCG. These players, therefore, are expected to get back their full FTP balance amounts.
During the past few years, the US government has collected millions of dollars by imposing fines on key Full Tilt Poker players, signing a settlement deal with PokerStars, and so on. If each of the 41,000 players who have already filed petitions claimed $1000 each, it will add up to around $41 million. The rest of funds forfeited in the FTP case will be directed back to the federal government and nobody knows what the government will do with it.
PokerStars had acquired FTP as part of a settlement deal with the US federal government, as a result of which the site is now functioning as usual.