It has been announced that the Cereus Poker Network will be returning all funds that were seized by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) following the events of Black Friday.
Unless you’ve had your head buried deep in a prostitute’s vagina for the past six months, you’ll know that the Black Friday Indictments saw the DoJ close down numerous poker websites in the USA on April 15. The DoJ alleged that Absolute Poker, UltimateBet, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker broke the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) by engaging in money laundering and bank fraud when processing money transfers to and from their customers’ accounts.
Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) released a statement specifying how they had been in talks over the past several weeks with Blanca gaming – who bought out Cereus in August 2010 – in regards to how best to sort out the mess of owing players their money. The statement detailed how “advised of a potential solution” by Blanca Gaming, who promise to liquidate their assets and deliver proceeds to players. KGC state that it’s imperative that the return of US and non-US players’ funds is done “as quickly and completely as possible” due to such a long wait without any positive developments.
Clearly, the proposed reinstatement of the funds is great news for poker players who have been waiting more than six months to withdraw money from frozen accounts with Absolute Poker and UltimateBet. We’re sure they’ll be eagerly rubbing their hands together right this minute as they anticipate receiving what is due to them. Woohoo! But players shouldn’t get too excited just yet. Obviously it’s great news, but getting the hopes up of those players waiting for what’s rightfully theirs has happened before. Back in May there was talk of an agreement with the DoJ that could result in the refunding of balances…but nope. That didn’t happen. Five months on, will that be the case once again? For the past player’s sakes; we hope not.
The Gaming Commission’s release did also point out that the proposed process has been presented to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) for their “consideration and approval”. But until anything is confirmed, perhaps players should leave their champagne bottles in the cooler.