Saturday October 8, 2011 : Two more additions to the whirlwind of litigation and counter claims in US courts
With more legal actions and counter-claims swirling around Black Friday than you can shake a stick at, US lawyers were again busy this week, adding two more cases to US court rolls.
The first came from a source well known to online gambling operators and players for its ridiculous and as yet unresolved attempt to seize the international domain names of some 141 internet gambling sites….the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its energetic if misguided Secretary for Justice and Public Safety, J. Michael Brown.
Nipping in for its share of whatever booty might be realised from the enforcement and civil actions of Black Friday, the Commonwealth is claiming the domain names of the four major online poker companies impacted by the Black Friday indictments – Pokerstars.com, Full Tilt Poker.com, Absolute Poker.com, and Ultimate Bet.com.
And not content with that, it also wants "the proceeds from any sale or disposition of said domain names," which in Full Tilt Poker's case is unlikely to sit well with prospective buyer Groupe Bernard Tapie.
Full details of Kentucky's claim can be read here: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2011cv02564/377900/59/
A more obscure, but at $30 million certainly pricey, legal claim is also being made by an outfit called Cardroom International, which is apparently a software company that feels it was blocked from licensing its software to major media companies by the actions of online poker giants Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker which – pre-Black Friday – dominated the media with advertising and airtime buys.
Cardoom International wants a piece of the action in the five bank accounts related to the indictments for which a warrant ‘in rem' – property seizure – was issued.
Not content with that, the company also claims "all other property that has been seized or will be seized in this proceeding at any time, directly from and/or related to", referring to the enforcement action against the individuals named in the Department of Justice actions.
A statement on the new claim by Cardroom International alleges:
"Cardroom sought to license its software to major media companies for use on their sports-related sites. Between them, the PokerStars defendants and the Full Tilt defendants entered into agreements whereby they provided such play (for) money services to ESPN/ABC, Fox and NBC.
"At a meeting with one of the aforementioned networks, the CEO of Cardroom was informed that adoption of his system faced the barrier of the purchase of airtime on the network by PokerStars companies, as the PokerStars companies were tying continued purchase of airtime to use of their software and system on the network's website.
"Within weeks of meeting with this network, the network announced a deal with PokerStars. The bulk of the money utilized by the PokerStars defendants to purchase time for poker television programs came from funds illegally obtained from United States poker players.
"Though Full Tilt did not directly interfere in the potential transaction between Cardroom and the network, it was due to the joint conspiracy of the PokerStars defendants and the Full Tilt defendants alleged below that both companies achieved their dominant position in on-line poker."