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Abby Messick

Abby served as an associate editor for the Casino City editorial team for three years, between 2015 and 2018.

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PokerStars announces plans to refund PKR players

6 Jul 2017

By Abby Messick
Today, announced its intention to pay back PKR players who lost money after the rival poker site's sudden shutdown.

Back in May, online poker site PKR was suspended by Microgaming due to financial difficulties, leaving thousands of players high and dry. For more than 48 hours before the official shuttering of the site, PKR players were unable to use the poker software or withdraw money from their accounts. Facebook and Twitter accounts associated with the site were deleted shortly afterward.

A message on the main website stated, "Further to earlier announcements, PKR limited and PKR Technologies Ltd have filed applications to Court for Administration orders, which will be heard in the week commencing 8th May 2017. Further information will be placed on this website following the hearings."

Cue two months of radio silence before PokerStars stepped in to fill the void.

Eric Hollreiser, Amaya Vice President of Corporate Communications, said in a blog post, "Beginning today, we're making players' PKR balances available dollar-for-dollar in PokerStars accounts, with no strings attached."

Those who currently have PokerStars accounts should be able to receive their PKR funds via a simple retrieval process. The company aims to have the funds back to affected players as quickly as possible.

The blog post continued, "We’ve developed a system with the Administrator to ensure that players are credited correctly, but please be patient if your account needs to be manually credited by our customer support team. If you believe that you held funds on PKR then check your email for further instructions."

About 60,000 players were impacted by PKR's insolvency. PokerStars will not be reviving the brand, which was a hit with the community following its debut in 2006. The site featured video game-inspired graphics and options for fully customized 3-D avatars that recalled a live poker environment. In 2016, PKR moved to MPN, Microgaming's poker network, and was able to retain its 3-D client and associated charm. The sudden closure came as a surprise to many.

Hollreiser said, "This is what happens when players aren't protected as they should be. It isn't fair, it isn't right. We've decided that we're going to make those players whole and have signed an agreement with the court appointed Administrator to do so.

"We're doing this because we think it's the right thing to do for the poker world and to encourage others to join us in putting you, the player, first by segregating and protecting player balances from operating funds. PokerStars is proud that we're in a position where we're able to step in and help these players and encourage all companies in the industry to put players first."
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