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Casinos Crack Down on Cyber-Squatters

April 30, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — As if the world of online gambling needed more legal complications, the Las Vegas Sun is reporting that a number of high-profile Las Vegas casinos are taking action against online gaming companies that it claims are illegally using their trademarks.

In legal actions against the practice known as “cybersquatting,” such well-known Las Vegas-based casinos as The Golden Nugget and MGM Mirage have filed suit against companies based outside of the U.S. for creating domain names that used trademarked property linking to other, unaffiliated gambling sites.

"Once a web user arrives at defendants’ Web sites linked to the (infringing) domain names, the home pages declare that the Internet user has arrived at the 'Mirage Casino' website," the MGM Mirage lawsuit charges, according the article. "The home pages include a description of the world-famous ‘The Mirage' resort hotel casino, which defendants, upon information and belief, included to cause consumer confusion and create an impression in the mind of the user that defendants’ Web sites and online casino links were or are sponsored, affiliated, or associated with the trademark owners, as well as a photograph of `The Mirage' at the top of the page.

“To further confuse the public, defendants posted a photograph of the 'Monte Carlo' casino in the body of the home page and represented that `The Mirage' was depicted therein when it was not.”

While this doesn’t directly involve any of the major online casino destinations, it isn’t likely to help cure the impression of disreputable practices that some members of the American public have toward the online gambling industry (an impression many politicians are all too eager to exploit).

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