From statements just released by PokerStars, it appears that they will start immediately processing US withdrawal requests. “Returning US players’ funds is a top priority for PokerStars and the company can now start the process of returning money to its former US customers.” Holdem Poker Chat cautions that the sheer volume of requests may slow the process and players should probably expect a lengthier process than they are accustomed to. I am sure this is great news for all with substantial portions of their bankrolls on PokerStars.
PokerStars gives a little more info in their comments regarding the recent developments. Right up front they state their innocence and desire for their day in court:
“The company categorically denies the allegations brought by the US Department of Justice on 15th April 2011 and is taking all steps necessary to robustly defend itself, and the two named individuals. Meanwhile, the company has stopped offering real money poker services in the United States.”
They continue by stating that player funds are always kept separate from operating funds.
“All PokerStars player deposits are completely safe. The Isle of Man’s strict licensing laws (similar to other jurisdictions where PokerStars holds licenses) require all funds to be held in accounts that are segregated from company assets. PokerStars has always complied with this requirement and continues to do so. This money is readily available to meet withdrawal demands, indeed the company continues to comply with withdrawal requests from players based outside the US as normal. Outside the U.S., PokerStars continues to operate business as usual.”
Good news for everyone. However, remember that because your government went after a reliable, stand up company like PokerStars, players now no longer get to do business with a company with integrity and class.
UPDATE: Shortly after making this announcement Pokerstars put a stop on all withdrawals. Those who managed to process a withdrawal later had the funds returned to their accounts along with an email stating that Pokerstars was still working on the logistics of cashouts to US players and that players would be notified when they were ready.