Garden City Group (GCG), the administrator charged with overseeing the reimbursement process for Full Tilt Poker’s US players, has confirmed that former affiliates of the poker site will be allowed to submit claims for account balances owed when the site was shut down in April 2011.
In an update posted last Friday, GCG said that affiliates of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) will be able to submit petitions for remission “to recover the portion of their account balances that does not relate to their affiliate status.”
Originally, GCG said, these player accounts had been flagged as ineligible as the user had originally signed up as an affiliate. It was announced in August last year that payments owed to affiliates would not be honoured, but gave no mention of whether such individuals would have their account balances refunded.
In September, an email published by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) vice president of player relations Rich Muny suggested that money in accounts registered to affiliates would not be returned, with past or present employees (Team Full Tilt players; shareholders, directors or executive officers of the operator’s parent companies and those named in the Black Friday indictments) also deemed ineligible.
However, in an apparent turnaround, GCG has now confirmed that it will refund US affiliate accounts from the $547m fund forfeited to the Department of Justice by PokerStars owner Rational Group following its acquisition of Full Tilt in July 2012.
While normal account holders were set a deadline of November 16th to file a claim for reimbursement, affiliate accounts will work on a different timescale. GCG said it will complete a review of all account data, then contact those eligible for a refund on a date yet to be specified, with the individuals then given a 30-day window to file their application.
“The filing process for affiliates will not delay the processing or payment of other petitions for remission,” GCG said.
GCG added that the remission process is now well underway for all other Full Tilt players, with over 1.4m email notifications sent to players. In response, it has already received 27,000 submitted petitions through its online filing system.