State to Receive $6 Million for Cracking Down in Illegal Online Gambling

Gov. Steve Beshear announced today that Kentucky will receive more than $6 million for its groundbreaking actions to curb rampant unregulated online gambling in the state.

The 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 of claims against online gaming giants PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, which are no longer operating in Kentucky.  PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are the two largest purveyors of illegal 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.

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

“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.

From the Office of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear