MGM Files Suit Against Several in Cybersquatting Case
MGM Resorts International has filed lawsuits against four individuals and two companies for cybersquatting on poker domain names, including: mgmpoker.com, ariapoker.com, bellagioonlinepoker.com, excaliburpoker.com, and mandalaybayonlinepoker.com among others.
Those named in the suit include: Shahram Kolahzadeh of Zimbabwe; Adam Majewski, Roberto Ciamillo, and Evan Krentzman of the United States; and the companies RevNet (New Jersey) and PokerSons (England).
MGM attorneys are outraged that these individuals and companies are infringing on the company’s trademarks in an attempt to benefit through misrepresentation.
“The defendants have done nothing more than tack on the descriptive terms ‘poker’ or ‘online poker’ to each of the MGM marks to form the domain names.”
There is a good chance that these sites were created as a way of “tricking” players into associating the service with the MGM brand. Obviously, this poses an issue for MGM if and when online poker is licensed in the United States.
In October, MGM CEO Jim Murren said there was reason to believe that Congress would eventually pass a law legalizing online gambling in the United States. Around the same time, MGM signed an agreement with bwin.party to offer online poker services should legislation pass in the near future.
The most interesting part of this news is that some of the websites listed in the lawsuit were created as long ago as 2002. Why does MGM feel that now is the time to file suit against these cybersquatters in an attempt to recover the domain names? It is only natural to believe that MGM is readying itself for the legalization of online poker in the US.
Whether or not MGM Resorts recovers these domain names is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure: the company is spending a lot of time and resources preparing for the potential legalization of online gambling.
What do you think? Is this move by MGM a tipoff of things to come? Leave a comment below.