Kentucky Drops Charges against Poker Rooms for $6 Million
Kentucky has reached a settlement deal with the US federal government, according to the terms of which the US government would give it a sum of $6 million in exchange for which it would drop all charges against Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker. Papers related to this deal were filed at a federal court in New York recently.
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Around a year back, PokerStars had signed a settlement deal with the US federal government, according to the terms of which it paid $731 million and acquired the Full Tilt Poker brand and assets. In exchange, the feds had agreed to drop all charges against the online poker room. PokerStars paid $547 million to the Department of Justice (DoJ) and used $184 million to refund Full Tilt Poker’s international poker players.
J. Michael Brown, who is associated with the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet for Kentucky, had filed a claim, in which the state asserted that it had ownership interests in the federal claims against Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars.
On Monday, the US federal government agreed that it would pay a sum of $6 million provided Kentucky dropped its claims on the three poker rooms and withdraw all related pending cases in the state court. The federal government has promised to pay the amount within ten days after the state dismissed all its claims.
On April 15, 2011, a day known as the Black Friday of online poker, the US federal government cracked down on Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker and seized their domain names and assets. The government had also filed criminal and civil suits, in which it accused the three sites of illegal gaming, bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, violation of US gaming laws, and money laundering.
In 2008, the government of Kentucky had filed a case in court to seize around 141 domain names, which were allegedly involved in illegal online gambling. Later, the state combined with lawsuits with federal lawsuits against domain names that figured in its own case. Kentucky announced that the recent settlement is between the state and the federal prosecutors.
Steve Beshear, governor of Kentucky, issued a statement, in which he said that the state is making efforts to protect its “signature horse racing industry and legitimate charitable gaming interests.” He also said that the $6 million settlement fund received from the federal government will be transferred to the Kentucky General Fund.