Tuesday August 30, 2011 : Washington operator named in brand-protection suit
The owners of online poker subscription clubs may think they are safe from US law enforcement thinking they offer Legal betting in the USA, but they remain vulnerable if using a brand registered to a big US corporate, as World Poker Rewards Club.com Co. Inc. and John George of Blaine, Washington found out August 25, when the giant gambling company MGM Resorts International filed suit in a Las Vegas federal court.
The suit claims that the Atlantis Solutions-Cybertech powered internet poker subscription club has infringed its Gold Strike casino trademarks, alleging that the defendants own internet websites titled Gold Strike Poker.com and Gold Strike Poker.net and have registered user names allegedly carrying the Gold Strike name on social network sites.
This violates MGM Resorts' trademark covering its Gold Strike hotel-casinos, a fact that the defendants were warned about by company attorneys in July. At that time defendants were issued with cease and desist warnings and asked to voluntarily transfer the website domain names to MGM.
Though George agreed to change the name of his websites, he apparently held on to the domain names and tried to persuade MGM Resorts to buy them from him, the suit alleges.
World Poker Rewards Club.com operates on the basis that it is legal to play poker in the United States through the poker club subscription model.
"Experience unlimited risk free online poker for a flat $19.95 monthly membership fee," the site blurb advertises. "Play online Texas Holdem and all your favorite poker games. Accumulate free 3D poker points which can be redeemed for up to a million different prizes."