The Commonwealth of Kentucky has filed a lawsuit against Pocket Kings (the owner of the popular online poker room Full Tilt Poker), PartyGaming (the leading online gaming operator) and Microgaming (the leading online gaming software provider). The law suit uses an archaic statute that gives the state powers to recover the losses incurred by gamblers from the operators who conducted illegal gambling. Kentucky has claimed that the above named entities have offered illegal online gambling services in the years before the UIGEA was passed in 2006 and has claimed amounts yet to be determined from them.
Now PartyGaming has filed a motion to dismiss this lawsuit on three counts. The first reason is that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has not followed the stipulated procedure for the issue of legal documents to foreign companies as specified under the Hague Convention. PartyGaming is a United Kingdom based company regulated in the gambling jurisdiction of Gibraltar. The second reason is that Kentucky’s Secretary of Justice, who has initiated the law suit, has no legal authority to do so. This authority rests with the Attorney General, who has not participated in proceedings. The third reason is that Kentucky has “failed to identify a single purported “loser”, a single quantifiable loss and a single date on which an alleged loss occurred.” The motion will be heard in the Franklin Circuit Court on a date convenient to both parties.
Antigua and Barbuda is a leading online gaming jurisdiction. When the United States made it illegal for its citizens to gamble online the adverse impact on Antigua was tremendous. Antigua went to the WTO and received $21million in annual trade sanctions against the United States as compensation for damages. However, America has steadfastly refused to pay up.
Gaston Browne, Deputy Leader of the Antigua Labour Party, declared on ZDK Radio this week that the Antiguan Government had arrived at a settlement that would give them a $10 million one-off payment provided Antigua outlawed online gaming. Browne pointed out that this would lead to job cuts and adversely impact telecom and Internet companies and other service providers. This was immediately denied by Harold Lovell, Finance Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. Lovell said, “We have not accepted any offers that have been put on the table. Before we accept any offers that are placed on the table we would consult with the relevant parties here in Antigua and Barbuda.” Lovell added that full impact of any offer made on the economy of the nation would be considered before arriving at a decision.