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June 19, 2013
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Kentucky to receive $6 million for cracking down on online gambling

State was lead plaintiff in litigation

State was lead plaintiff in litigation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 19, 2013) — Kentucky will receive more than $6 million for its actions to curb rampant unregulated online gambling in the state, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.

onlinegamblingThe settlement stems from the unprecedented action Kentucky took in 2008, when the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet filed suit to seize 141 domain names used to conduct unauthorized and unlicensed internet gambling in the Commonwealth. The case, Commonwealth of Kentucky ex rel. J. Michael Brown, Secretary, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet v. 140 Internet Domain Names, was the first of its kind in this country.

Three years later, two federal entities – United States Attorneys for both the Southern District of New York and the District of Maryland — brought similar lawsuits against some of the same internet domain names that had been seized by Kentucky.  The Commonwealth joined those federal actions, resulting in the $6,075,000 settlement.

Online gaming giants PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet are no longer operating in Kentucky.  PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are the two largest purveyors of unlicensed and unauthorized online gaming.

“As a result of our bold and steadfast determination to protect Kentucky consumers, our signature horse racing industry, and legitimate charitable gaming interests, unlicensed and unauthorized internet gambling has been substantially curtailed in Kentucky, and we’ve created a framework for the rest of the country to manage the issue in their own jurisdictions,” Beshear said.

The funds will go toward this year’s General Fund, Beshear said.

“I’m pleased with the disposition of this case with regard to the two major players in this arena, and I’m grateful to our legal team for their persistence over the past five years,” said Justice Secretary J. Michael Brown, who brought the suit on behalf of the commonwealth.

Brown added that Kentucky will continue to pursue action against the remaining internet sites included in the original suit.

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