Saturday June 29, 2013 : ANOTHER ONLINE GAMBLING WINDFALL FOR KENTUCKY
This time it's $15 million from Bwin.Party.
For the second time this month, the US state of Kentucky has announced an Internet gaming-related settlement, this time recovering $15 million from the European giant Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment in respect of online gambling losses incurred by Kentucky residents.
Gov. Steve Beshear announced the settlement Friday in a statement that revealed the agreement has its roots in Party Pokers Kentucky activities pre-UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), which came into force in 2006.
Although Bwin.Party (then Party Gaming) pulled out of the US market in the wake of the law, which disrupted financial transactions between punters and online gambling firms, Kentucky filed a civil action against the gambling group in August 2010, and earlier this month reached an agreement with Bwin to settle Kentucky claims for $15 million.
Bwin.Party is keen to get back into the legalised US online poker market; it has partnership agreements with major US companies in Nevada, and has expressed an interest in legalization developments in New Jersey.
Breaking news of the settlement, Governor Beshear said: “I’m pleased that we were able to recover losses on behalf of Kentuckians. bwin.party is making every effort to comply with the laws of the United States and demonstrate that they want to be known for their integrity and honesty in this industry.”
In 2009, Bwin.Party coughed up $105 million in a settlement with the US Department of Justice to clean its pre-UIGEA American slate.
Interestingly, neither Bwin.Party nor Party Gaming was named in another key anti-online gambling initiative by Kentucky – the 2008 attempt to confiscate 141 Internet domain names.
The Bwin.Party payment is the second online gaming-related settlement received by Kentucky this month.
Just last week, Beshear announced that Kentucky would receive $6 million in a settlement of unrelated federal court actions in New York and Maryland concerning the activities of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.
Secretary of Justice and Public Safety J. Michael Brown, who filed the Bwin suit on behalf of the state, said Kentucky will continue to pursue action against Internet gaming companies identified in its pending lawsuits, which include PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.