PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world recently announced that it will be refunding money to all players left high and dry by UK-based online poker room PKR, which shut down abruptly in May 2017.
The PKR.com poker site ceased operating on May 3 and was suspended from MPN Network for financial difficulties. Initially the company’s statement said that both PKR Ltd and PKR Technologies Ltd were taking professional advice for their financial woes, but later it was announced that the firm had filed for administration orders.
David R Taylor and Matthew R M Wild of RSM Restructuring Advisory were appointed as joint administrators and PKR asked all players to contact them for any queries. An estimated 60,000 players were affected by the closure. They could neither access their account nor withdraw their money locked up with the website.
Two months later, PokerStars has stepped in to recompense the players though the PKR brand will not be revived. PokerStars has said that it will be making the full refund of account balances for all PKR players.
Eric Hollreiser, Vice President Corporate Communications for PokerStars’ parent Amaya Inc said that the company always advocated for sensible regulation in order to avoid situations where players are left without protection. Hollreiser clarified that the move would not result in revival of the PKR brand, unlike the case of Full Tilt where the brand was rescued as well. He said that that the company was stepping in as an industry leader.
In a statement Hollreiser said,
As an industry leader, we have the responsibility to lead from the front and demonstrate the importance of sound business practise. While we can't always be accountable for how other companies in our industry act – and it's not our role to be the world's online poker police – we can lead by example and encourage others to put players first
Hollreiser said that the company would be contacting the PKR player base individually via email with instructions. He said that PokerStars had developed a simple system with the joint administrators to ensure that the refunds are received correctly and fairly.
For most players, the process will be completed in a few clicks and their PKR balances would appear in their PokerStars accounts. Hollreiser said that some players might need to open fresh accounts with PokerStars to reclaim their winnings and assured players that the company would prioritize the repayment process and see that all players received their money.