PokerStars has agreed to pay just over $6 million to settle the claims of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the domain name seizure case.
In a press release today, the Governor’s office, “Gov. Steve Beshear announced today that Kentucky will receive more than $6 million for its groundbreaking actions to curb rampant unregulated online gambling in the state”.
“The settlement stems from the unprecedented action Kentucky took in 2008, when the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet filed suit to seize 141 domain names used to conduct unauthorized and unlicensed internet gambling in the Commonwealth. ”
The case, Commonwealth of Kentucky ex rel. J. Michael Brown, Secretary, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet v. 141 Internet Domain Names, was the first of its kind in this country.
“Three years later, two federal entities – United States Attorneys for both the Southern District of New York and the District of Maryland — brought similar lawsuits against some of the same internet domain names that had been seized by Kentucky. ”
“The Commonwealth joined those federal actions, resulting in the $6,075,000 settlement. ”
“Online gaming giants PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet are no longer operating in Kentucky.”
“PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are the two largest purveyors of unlicensed and unauthorized online gaming.
Beshear said the funds will go into this year’s General Fund.
“I’m pleased with the disposition of this case with regard to the major players in this arena, and I’m grateful to our legal team for their persistence over the past five years,” said Justice Secretary J. Michael Brown, who brought the suit on behalf of the Commonwealth.
Brown added that Kentucky will continue to pursue action against the remaining internet sites included in the pending suits.
“This agreement with Kentucky is the first payment made to any state. ”
“This may just be the beginning though as PokerStars may find that they can clear their name with a state by paying back taxes and licensing on revenue earned within jurisdictions the company is attempting to enter.”