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Absolute Poker refund process underway according to DOJ

Bailey Haun
by Bailey Haun

Victims of Absolute Poker’s Black Friday fraud in 2011 just received great news as the US Department of Justice announced that they were going to have a chance to recoup their lost account balances. A press release issued by the DOJ detailed how the government will have the Garden City Group (GCG) take charge of the compensation process. As of this writing, the GCG already has a dedicated website ( to accommodate players/victims’ claims.

Black Friday 2011

Six years ago, sites like Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, UltimateBet, and PokerStars got shuttled down by the DOJ and the FBI for violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The DOJ sent out a 52-page indictment of the three sites’ top executives and also lodge a civil complaint against their respective companies. This led to the immediate shut down of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker sites followed by Absolute Poker’s. As a result of the shutdown, players registered on those sites were unable to recover their funds.

Thankfully, the DOJ ruled that the players were entitled to recover the funds that they lost due to the closure. Full Tilt Poker was the first to process the repayments for 53220 claimants that were reviewed by the Garden City Group in March 2013. Of these claims, GCG approved 44320 which then resulted in a payout of more or less $118 million.

Absolute Poker Claims Process

To claim the money they lost, players who still had account balances at Absolute Poker would need to file a Petition for Remission found on the site. GCG already sent email notices to eligible victims (namely those whose account balances during the time of the shut down were greater than $0) based on the data provided by Absolute Poker. Those who were unable to receive the notices could then opt to contact for further clarification regarding their claims.

Will Ultimate Bet players get paid as well?

While the Department of Justice’s press release didn’t specifically include Ultimate Bet claimants, there have been reports that players from the said poker site also received notices regarding the Petition for Remission. With that said, there’s now very little money to go around for the remaining players. Since the money used for the remissions were from the $160 million sale of Full Tilt Poker to Poker Stars and the government already spending close to $120 million, there’s now only $40 million left for both Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet players.

Another issue that might crop up is the fact that what little money is left of the funds for remission might still go unclaimed. With their player base consisting mostly of people who played for recreation, there’s a chance that a majority of these have just moved on and written off the money they lost. Additionally, it’s possible that the length of time from the closure of both sites up until the start of the remission process has caused players to lose hope in getting a repayment. After all, it has been six years since the events of Black Friday happened.

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