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Poker News | Gambling and the Law Settles Kentucky Civil Suit for $15M

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According to, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has reached a financial settlement with digital entertainment to the tune of $15,000,000, stemming from a lawsuit filed by Kentucky against the company back in August 2010. Kentucky claimed it was trying to recover gambling losses incurred by Kentucky citizens when they played at PartyGaming before the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush in October of 2006.

After the passage of the UIGEA, PartyGaming pulled out of the US and in 2010 announced its intention to merge with bwin. The U.S. Department of Justice was the recipient of $15,000,000 from PartyGaming who agreed to pay-up in order to be forgiven for having a presence in the United States. Anurag Diskshit, co-founder of PartyPoker, wanted the freedom of being able to fly into US airports without issues involving the law, and he paid $300,000,000 to the DoJ.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, announced that had paid over $15,000,000 to settle the civil suit earlier this month and was quoted in the Lane Report as saying: “I’m pleased that we were able to recover losses on behalf of Kentuckians,” Beshear said. “ 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.”

Kentucky's coffers got another boost from another online shakedown this month when Kentucky announced the receipt of a $6,000,000 check from the DoJ in exchange for dropping its federal claim on the online poker domains — Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker — which were part of the DoJ's witch hunt that took place in the Black Friday indictments. The two sites were not connected with claims made in 2008 on 141 other online gambling domains by Kentucky and the Commonwealth is strong to point out that it is pursuing those vigorously. According to Justice Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown, “until all these unauthorized companies are held accountable for their actions,” the state will not rest.

Beshear has long claimed that numerous online poker sites have taken money from Kentucky residents:

At a September 22nd press conference in 2008 at the State Capitol, Beshear said, “Unlike casinos that operate on land or on riverboats in the United States, these operations pay no tax revenues, provide no jobs and yield no tourism benefits. They are leeches on our communities.” He claimed that gambling via the state lottery and at horse tracks and bingo halls has suffered because of online gaming. The sites, he said, “siphon off money from regulated and legal games such as Kentucky’s thoroughbred racing industry, our lottery and charitable gaming activities.”

Apparently the cash windfall is going into the general fund and that’s supposed to repay players for their gambling losses. How does that work?

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