Online Poker Site Full Tilt Sued by Kentucky to Recover Losses
Pocket Kings, the Irish-based owner of the Full Tilt online poker sites, is being sued by the state of Kentucky in an effort to force Internet gambling sites to return gaming losses. Kentucky's secretary of justice, J. Michael Brown, is apparently preparing new ground in his attack on online casinos now that defeat looms in the attempt to seize 141 Internet gaming domain names.
The suit, like the forfeiture case, uses ancient state statutes in an attempt to recover triple damages for all residents who lost money gambling at Full Tilt. The announcement of the case continues a rough week for the online poker site, as word days ago raised the prospect of a federal investigation into Full Tilt celebrity representatives as money launderers.
The law being applied by Brown is over 100 years old, and permits losing players at illegal gambling games to sue for triple recovery of losses. However, this ignores a point of contention from the seizure attempt, that online gambling is not illegal and no state statute addresses it, leading several legal experts to question the likelihood of the new suit's success.
“There are a lot of problems using that statute,” said famed gaming law expert I. Nelson Rose in an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal. “These are extremely ancient laws that have almost never been used for 100 years or more. The times have completely changed.”
Rose pointed out that the winner of each hand would be liable, not the company operating the game. Further, attorney Jon Fleischaker said the bets did not occur in Kentucky, as none of the sites are based there.
Governor Steve Beshear said the continued efforts are not costing Kentucky taxpayers, as the law firm representing the state only gets paid a percentage of damages won. He did not address the cost of court time, involving many hours of valuable operation of the legal system all the way to the state Supreme Court.
Help Spread the News