First reported on Parttimepoker.com, it appears that Americans are not taking full advantage of the Full Tilt remission process offered through Garden City Group. At present, less than two percent of eligible Americans have filed a petition to recover their bankrolls.
GCG released an update on Fulltiltpokerclaims.com recently. Part of that release appears below:
We are pleased to report that the Remission Process is now well underway. All told, GCG has sent over 1.4 million email notifications to Full Tilt Poker (“FTP”) players, and in response GCG has already received over 23,500 Petitions through the online filing system.
The email notification process is now complete. If you did not receive an email and you believe you are in Full Tilt’s database and should have been identified as a potentially eligible player, please contact us to provide your updated email address and we will provide you with your Petition and Control numbers if you have been assigned them. To the extent GCG has been provided with physical mailing addresses, we will be sending postcards to Petitioners whose emails were returned as undeliverable in the next few weeks.
According to the release, just 1.6 percent of eligible Americans have actually filed a claim with the government for their bankrolls. GCG did state on the website that players who did not receive an email can still file a claim. Just to go the website and click “File a Petition for Remission” and then click the button for “Create a New Petition.”
There could be several reasons why former players have not filed for their money. The most common reason is likely that many players do not have enough money tied up to bother with a claim. Some players with $100 or less on the site might figure that going through the process will take more time than the money is worth.
Other players are likely worried about tax implication. Money won in online gambling, which online poker will be classified as, is taxed at a much higher rate. Even if you are a professional poker player, you still have to worry about self employment taxes, etc. Players may feel that filing a petition may wind up costing them more money than what they can recover from their old bankrolls.
Finally, there is a good chance that a good many Americans either do not know about the remission process or have not received their emails for whatever reason. Many players likely signed up with old email accounts that they seldom access or the notification may have went in a spam folder.
Joe Bean who used to play on Full Tilt prior to Black Friday and had $30 in his account may have signed up with a free email account and then switched accounts later. He may never know his $30 is available.
The remission process will continue through November 16th, but it is hard to imagine that we will see more than 5% of US players file for remission. This could lead to a very lucrative payday for GCG and the DOJ as they get to pocket any unclaimed funds from the $150 million owed to US players.