Kentucky Files Another Lawsuit Against Online Poker Industry
April 9, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – One of the strangest online gambling legal stories just got stranger. The state of Kentucky, which back in 2008 tried to seize 141 online poker domain names that it claimed were offering illegal services to its residents (despite the fact that the domains were internationally owned and based), has filed another lawsuit, this time specifically targeting the owners of Full Tilt Poker.
“In a new move against the online gambling industry, Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration is attempting to use an obscure state law to recover losses incurred by Kentuckians who placed bets through Web sites,” Stephenie Steitzer writes in the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal.
The new lawsuit names Pocket Kings LTD. as the defendants. Pocket Kings operates Full Tilt Poker, the world’s second largest online poker room.
And, according to this obscure Kentucky law, if the state wins, it will be entitled to three times the amount of money estimated to have been lost by Kentuckians on online poker rooms.
In an article in the Financial Times, iMEGA’s Joe Brennan Jr said that Kentucky’s lawyers had asked for $1 billion in a settlement discussion.
“I think it’s very bizarre,” said Louisville attorney Jon Fleischaker in the Courier-Journal article. He also stated that “an argument can be made that the transactions didn’t actually occur in Kentucky because none of the Web site operators are located here”.
The story is marching across the mainstream media, which is probably a positive development; the more poker players are aware of this situation, the more assistance the PPA, iMEGA and other parties can get in fighting it. After all, as Steitzer writes, “if the state ultimately is successful in its legal battles, popular sites [like Full Tilt Poker] could be shut down, not just to Kentuckians but to people around the globe.”
The Courier-Journal article goes into great detail on how Kentucky’s move will probably fail; click here to check it out.
And is it just coincidence that Kentucky is targeting Full Tilt Poker at the same time that the U.S. government is doing the same?