It's official, breaking online poker news reports that the United States Department of Justice has approved PokerStakes acquisition of Full Tilt Poker. What does this acquisition mean to players effected by both online poker companies?
Over the last 16 months online poker players have been sucked into the govermental drama created by US laws that limit the choices of what a free American citizen can and cannot do online. Clocked in criminal actions by online poker providers, players have been in a holding pattern waiting while the US government extracted what they felt was a fair share of the online poker pie made by Full Tilt poker.
In total, the pie is valued at just under a billion dollars. Poker Stars has been approved to make $184 million dollars available to former Full Tilt Poker players that were American citizens. In addition to the player reimbursement, PokerStars will pay the US Government $547 Million dollars to settle civil actions.
As reported on the Forbes website, the world's largest online poker service provider will pay $731 million dollars to appease the so called fraudulent methods they used to process funds that were rightfully the funds of American citizens. Although its a great day for those Americans who had money tied up in the US government desire to control the rights of its citizens, it's still a horrible reminder that Americans are not free to make their own choices.
The question for me is, with thousands of dollars previously changing hands between online poker players worldwide, without incident, who was the real cheat in the whole process? Who was the culprit who held funds from Americans?
With this agreement, it's obvious that there is enough money to fill the hands of the greedy law makers, but is it enough? Will online poker ever really become something people can play online without governement greedy fingers all over it?
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