The United States Department of Justice has released funds from a formerly frozen account belonging to PokerStars. Held in the Hapoalim Bank of Luxembourg, this particular cache was seized during the indictments of Black Friday due to its relationship with PokerStars associate Sphene International Limited.
Though we know of the release, it is unclear just how much money has been returned. However, a statement from the government issued last week did reveal the following information: “[T]he Government and PokerStars have reached an agreement pursuant to which PokerStars consents to the restraint of US$5.5m in the Account…and the Government agrees that it does not object to PokerStars’ use of the remaining funds in that account.”
So, it appears that at least $5.5 million must remain in the account, while PokerStars has full use of the rest of the cash. The government’s official reason for holding that particular amount stems from the belief that that particular amount was earned through online gambling within US borders. PokerStars, for their part, has more or less acknowledged this to be true.
While this is certainly a hopeful sign, there are still at least two known PokerStars bank accounts which remain under government control. Both of these are housed at the Credit Agricole of Suisse, according to EGRMagazine.
Still, the release of this unknown amount of funds should do something to ease the minds of the company’s former US customers. PokerStars has already paid back nearly $154 million in funds to its American players, and more checks may now be on the way.