The Department of Justice has recently announced that following a long and complicated process, players who had money in their accounts on so-called Black Friday will be able to file claims for the money. Nearly six years ago, 3 large poker websites were found to be in violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act with such charges as bank fraud and money laundering. The real problem came later when the casinos were liquidated and it was determined that player funds had not been kept in a separate account, but had instead been held with the normal operations of the casinos. This complicated the liquidation and put in doubt that players, at the end of the day, would ever see the amounts held in their accounts on the day the casinos were closed.
Over the past few years, the DOJ had sold the assets of the three casinos and has reached a point where they believe players will be able to make claims. The full estimates are believed to be north of $50 million that is owed to players, however, the expectation is that many will be unwilling or unable to file claims with the DOJ.
The plight of the customers involved with Black Friday brought to light the need for better accounting and regulation of online gambling companies, especially those operating legally in the USA. In many ways, all that needed to happen was some of the same regulations involving real casinos be carried over, including requirements for cash-reserves based on wagering volume. Two of the casinos were also found not even to have assets available to cover the total amount of funds in players´accounts.