August 8, 2013
Update from the PPA on Full Tilt remissions and US court's skill game reversal
Last week, I shared with you a plan to get individual lawmakers involved in helping to expedite remission processing for those of us with accounts on Full Tilt Poker. I have very good news on that front. On August 1st, Full Tilt Poker Claims Administrator Garden City Group posted a status update on their website promising that the claims process will begin “shortly” and clarifying that remission will be based on final balances and not on deposits. I encourage you to read the entire statement on their website, atwww.fulltiltpokerclaims.com.
This announcement shows that progress is being made. Over the past several weeks, PPA and the poker community intensified its pressure on the DOJ and Garden City Group to expedite full remission of player funds. Even members of Congress began weighing in on behalf of their constituents. While many factors contributed to the timing of the announcement, there is little doubt player activism played an important role.
While this announcement is much-needed good news, we cannot rest now. We are seeking specifics, including dates for application, expected dates for processing, etc. We are also seeking as streamlined a process as possible.
U.S. vs. DiCristina Appeal Update
Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the U.S. vs. DiCristina ruling. The ruling was not contested on the basis of poker being a game of skill or not, so that remains intact. Here’s PPA’s statement on the unfortunate reversal:
“Today’s decision by the 2nd Circuit Court, while unfortunate, only adds to the growing call for federal clarity on the definition of gambling. The 2nd Circuit clearly did not dispute the district court’s finding that poker is a game of skill. This is a key point distinguishing poker from the types of gambling games that Congress and state legislatures have often tried to prohibit. What the court did was conclude that the IGBA does not set forth an independent federal definition of gambling, but instead only incorporates state law.
“Ample academic studies and judicial rulings at the state and federal level have concluded that poker is indeed a game of skill. Period. The PPA will continue to advocate for a clear, federal definition of gambling as a game predominated by chance, thus preserving the right of Americans to play this great game of skill.
“The PPA stands ready to support Mr. DiCristina should he choose to appeal this decision, and we are committed to working through the judicial and legislative processes to establish a clear definition of gambling based on the predominance test.”