Hitting out all fronts that dare to offer online gambling and poker to state citizens, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has decided to go for the jugular. State officials have launched a lawsuit against the US poker site, Full Tilt Poker with a demand to return losses made by Kentucky residents in the past five years.
The Kentucky secretary for justice, J. Michael Brown, handpicked by Beshear, has issued a suit against the unidentified owners of 100 domain names who offer online gambling services to the US market, but also, for the first time, names one of the owners as Pocket Kings, based in Dublin, believed to be a co-owner of Full Tilt Poker.
A spokesperson for Brown said in a statement: “Through the course of the litigation, attorneys were able to confirm the identities of one of the owners.”
Of course, this is not the first time that Kentucky has attacked online gambling sites, with Beshear infamous for his attempts to seize the domain names of 141 online poker and gambling sites in the past. The recent status of that case was a ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court that for them to rule in favor of the online poker sites, at least one official owner will need to be physically present when making presentations to the court. Up until now, these sites were represented by industry interest groups such as the Poker Players Alliance.
Full Tilt may also be facing a federal grand jury investigation, meaning that those who hold a sharing interest in the site such as Phil Ivey and Howard Lederer may be facing jail time if they are arrested and convicted.
The new lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker by Kentucky was justified by the state by saying that “the Commonwealth is entitled to sue and recover triple the value of the money lost during the statutory period between March 25, 2005 and September 25, 2009 (the five year period preceding this Complaint but excluding the recent six months) by person located within the borders of Kentucky.”