Good news for the procrastinating Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet players out there. The date to submit a claim has been extended 90 days until September 7, 2017.
June 9 was intended to be the deadline but, out of the goodness of their hearts, you still have a few months to get those claims filed.
Garden City Group, hired by the U.S. Department of Justice to administer the claims process, didn’t say why the deadline was extended. But the reason doesn’t matter. The time extension benefits the poker community.
Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, both part of the Cereus Poker Network, were two of the most popular online poker sites prior to April 2011.
Although each site received negative publicity from cheating scandals, thousands of poker players were satisfied customers.
But then Black Friday happened. Both sites, along with Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, were shut down in America. Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet never recovered and completely ceased to exist.
PokerStars remained the top poker site in the world but has since been unavailable in the United States. Full Tilt dissolved in 2016.
What Happened to the Money?
Full Tilt Poker has gotten most of the negative publicity from the media for not having the funds available to pay its players following the Black Friday scandal. But the customers were eventually paid a couple of years later.
We can’t say the same for AP and UB players. Six years later and the money is just now becoming available thanks to the Department of Justice.
Why weren’t the customers paid immediately after Black Friday? Bianca Games, the site’s parent company, simply didn’t have the money. The company filed bankruptcy in 2011.
There were no reserve funds available. There was no money. Nothing. The poker players were victims of a poorly operated business that didn’t plan for an event such as Black Friday.
After a six-year wait, there is finally money available, but not from the scandalous online gambling company.
Joon H. Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced in April that money left from a 2012 settlement with PokerStars would be used to pay AP and UB players.
Kim, oddly enough, recently replaced the man who prosecuted the poker sites in 2011, Preet Bharara. He hired the Garden City Group to process claims and reimburse players.
How to File a Claim
If you’ve been procrastinating or are just finding out the U.S. government is going to give AP and UB customers money owed, the following will guide you in the right direction:
Check your email for a message regarding this issue. Then go AbsolutePokerClaims.com and click on the “Online Filing Page” tab. Enter the information provided in the email. Your claim will then be processed. You should receive an email confirming the submission and another updating the status.
Even if you don’t believe you are owed money, you should still file a claim if you ever played on Absolute Poker or Ultimate Bet. Some players who were certain they didn’t have an outstanding account balance found out they did.