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PokerStars To Fight Kentucky in Court

The USA is full of contrasting laws that seem to keep everyone guessing what’s what. An issue that stems back to 2008 in the State of Kentucky when 140 online gambling domains were seized based on the state’s legal definition of the confiscated domains as “gambling devices” illegally offering services to residents has again surfaced.
The parent firms of online poker operator PokerStars have filed a motion to dismiss with prejudice the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s claim on the PokerStars.com domain name. Kentucky made a similar claim at the federal level following the US Department of Justice’s seizure of PokerStars.com domain on April 15, 2011.
The latter claim resulted in the federal government writing a cheque in exchange for the state dropping its claims on AbsolutePoker.com and UltimateBet.com. Kentucky announced its $6m remittance it announced its intent to pursue the claim against PokerStars.com.

Lawyers for Rational Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. and Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd. contend that Kentucky has never provided the firms with notice that the PokerStars.com domain had been targeted, nor allowed them the opportunity to challenge the alleged seizure in any court.

The parent companies also challenge Kentucky’s very broad definition of “gambling devices.” Both firms note that the state’s own Court of Appeals rejected the inclusion of domains as gambling devices when the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association contested the 2008 domain seizures, an opinion that was not challenged when the state Supreme Court reviewed the case one year later.

Paying the State of Kentucky has released another firm Bwin.party digital entertainment from any possible sanctions after Bwin. party paid Kentucky $15 million for civil suit violations back in 2010. The governor of Kentucky Steve Beshear, said in praise of Bwin.party for, “making every effort to comply with the laws of the United States.” It may be a less than profitable move by PokerStars to fight Kentucky while pursuing a license to operate in New Jersey.


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