September 26, 2011

Lawmakers returning Full Tilt poker contributions

Members of Nevada's congressional delegation who received funds from Full Tilt, the online poker website, announced they would dispose of their funds, and in some cases donate the money to charity, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report.

The announcement comes after Full Tilt was called a "global ponzi scheme" and four of their board members were listed as defendants in a civil lawsuit for defrauding players.

Nevada congressional leaders who received Full Tilt donations include:
  • Senator Harry Reid, who received $16,800 from the defendants and $8,332 from the Poker Players Alliance PAC. Additionally, Full Tilt board members donated $44,000 to Reid-affiliated committees.
  • Senator Dean Heller received $9,063 combined from the Full Tilt board and players PAC
  • Representative Shelley Berkley received $40,084 from board members
  • Representative Joe Heck received $1,500 from the players PAC and announced he's donating the money to Catholic Charities
  • No records were available for newly-elected Representative Mark Amodei
Not all of the money, however, is being returned. According to the RJ, Reid is keeping the money he received from the players PAC since the PAC isn't associated with Full Tilt, and Reid "receives contributions from hundreds of online poker enthusiasts, many of whom were allegedly defrauded themselves by Full Tilt."