At a first glance it might look like good news are finally heading their way, but Full Tilt players should take the latest announcement made by the Department of Justice with a pinch of salt. The US government got involved in the process of setting up a commission that will compensate the victims of the fraud orchestrated a couple of years ago by Full Tilt. http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/15184-breaking-doj-hires-group-to-help-compensate-u-s-victims-of-full-tilt-poker states that Garden City Group was chosen to administrate the claims and determine how much is each player entitled to.
The company is experienced in this line of work and was appointed to handle what appears to be very complicated process. It is on the website of this company where the information regarding the compensation process will be posted, and the preliminary assessment suggests that more than 1 million people will qualify. For American players this sounds like good news because for almost 2 years they’ve had their money blocked, as the poker company was forbidden from operating in the United States.
Last year the United States government settled with PokerStars and allowed the company to purchase Full Tilt after paying just compensation. Former players who reside outside United States were already paid, and it is now up to the administrator to see how many of their American counterparts are entitled to payments. While Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer and Rafe Furst settled with the Department of Justice, Ray Bitar the former CEO is still in danger of spending his life in prison.
The initial reaction would be to cheer for what appears to be a good deed, but there are some who wonder whether the Department of Justice has a deeper motivation. One needs to be naïve to believe that the appointed administrator will simply take a look at the records and then send the money to those who deserve compensation without asking any questions. There is a good chance for the authorities to expand the scope of the investigation and try to determine whether players were delinquent on their taxes.
US legislation states that those who gamble online and make profits need to declare them to the IRS and pay taxes. Poker players know how difficult it is to keep proper records because buying in games at both online and land-based casinos is an ongoing process. Over the Internet it is easier to keep track of your activity, but the truth is that very few players actually did their due diligence and pay taxes.