DOJ Likely to Sell Absolute Poker's Assets
By Matt Kaufman, Rakeback.com Poker News Editor
On Tuesday, the biggest news in the poker world was that PokerStars, the world's largest online poker room, purchased the assets belonging to Full Tilt Poker. In turn, players at Full Tilt will have their account balances refunded at some point in the future.
There was another significant story that happened on Tuesday, however. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to sell Absolute Poker's assets.
The assets, which include all domain names, hardware, intellectual property, funds on deposit, and receivables at Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet, and several shell companies, would be sold in an interlocutory sale. This means that the proceeds of the sale would stay in the hands of the government until a court determines where they should be sent.
Will players receive that money?
While it is possible that players can eventually receive a share of the money collected from the interlocutory sale, there are other entities which have claims on the assets first.
The first claimant is the state of Kentucky, which believes it is the rightful owner of all 3 domain names associated with the company (AbsolutePoker.com, UltimateBet.com, and UB.com). The reason for their claim is because they seized those domains in the past.
The second claimant is a Portuguese company called "Avoine - Servico De Consultadoria E Marketing, LDA". Avoine believes it is the rightful owner of all AP/UB assets because it acted as a shell owner of those companies, but it claims that it was unaware of the illegal activity at them. The DOJ has already filed a motion to strike their claim.
If Avoine doesn't receive those assets and no new claimants enter the picture, then players can potentially receive some money. Unfortunately, it seems highly unlikely that the proceeds from the sale can match the total amount of player liabilities, so players may only receive a small percentage of what they're owed.