PokerStars Settles Domain Case with Kentucky for $6 Million

PokerStars LogoKentucky settled its five-year old domain name dispute with PokerStars on Wednesday.  The company has agreed to pay just over $6 million to settle the claim made by Kentucky. The Commonwealth attempted to seize 141 domains in 2008. 

The Justice and Public Safety Department accused the owners of these domains of operating illegal and unlicensed online gambling in Kentucky. Governor Steve Beshear’s office states through a press release that this action was taken to protect the state’s horseracing industry as well as charitable gaming.

The press release even went on to state rather implicitly that:

PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are the two largest purveyors of unlicensed and unauthorized online gaming.

Both companies left the entire U.S. market within 24 hours of the unsealing of the Black Friday indictments.  The more than $6 million paid by Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars, will enter Kentucky’s 2013 General Fund.

This is another chapter in the series of settlements made by PokerStars and its parent company Rational Group.  The company acquired Full Tilt Poker as part of its settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ).  This agreement cost PokerStars an estimated $731 million.  Mark Scheinberg, current CEO of PokerStars, reached an agreement to pay a $50 million civil penalty with the DOJ earlier this month.

This agreement with Kentucky is the first payment made to any state.  This may just be the beginning though as PokerStars may find that they can clear their name with a state by paying back taxes and licensing on revenue earned within jurisdictions the company is attempting to enter.

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