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Full Tilt Poker Faces Canadian Class Action Lawsuit, Troubles Continue

Consumer Law Group Files Lawsuit Representing Canadian Online Poker Players


The Montreal Gazette has reported that Jeff Orenstein, an attorney for the Consumer Law Group, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker in the Superior Court of Quebec on behalf of Canadian online poker players who currently have funds tied up on the site.

According to a statement on the CLG wesbite, “the class action lawsuit involves Full Tilt Poker’s illegal freezing of customers’ money that is kept in their internet poker player’s accounts.”

Orenstein estimates that Canadian players have between $5-$10 million currently being withheld after the U.S. Department of Justice’s indictment on Black Friday last May.

Canadian players are not restricted from playing online poker, but have been affected by Full Tilt’s global inability to honor cash out requests. Full Tilt had their gaming license with the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) revoked in late June and has been shut down since. A hearing is currently scheduled for September 19 to determine if the site will regain their gaming license. The site has already paid £250,000 in overdue license fees to the AGCC.

The lawsuit names a number of entities as respondents, including Tiltware LLC, Pocket Kings Ltd., Filco Ltd., Ranson Ltd., Mail Media Ltd., owners Ray Bitar and Nelson Burtnick and some members of Team Full Tilt, which includes Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey, Andy Bloch, Erick Lindgren, Jennifer Harman, Allen Cunningham, Erik Seidel and Mike Matusow.

This is the second class-action lawsuit filed against Full Tilt Poker, the first coming in the Southern District of New York and representing American players. Jeff Ifrah and David Deitch of Ifrah PLLC, the attorneys of record, have since filed a motion to withdraw from the lawsuit stating that “continued representation of [the] defendants would create unreasonable financial burden to our law firm.”

It is estimated that Full Tilt Poker owes as much as $150 million to its players, but has so far been unable to come up with the funds to pay them back. PokerStars was also indicted on Black Friday, but has been able to honor player’s cash out requests.