Judge Rules to Dismiss Illinois Case Against PokerStars

PokerStars LogoAs PokerStars tries to enter the online poker industry of the United States, the company has been fighting a long and arduous battle within the state of Illinois. The lawsuit was filed against the brand by Kelly and Casey Sonnenberg who tried to seek damages based on losing money to an illegal gambling operator. Based on the Illinois Loss Recover Act, the plantiff’s could have been awarded as much as three times the amount lost by the gambler based on the LRA.

Judge David Herndon decided to grant the motion to dismiss, which was similar to the decision the judge made one year ago to dismiss the suit filed by Kelly Sonnenberg. Each lawsuit was filed in an attempt to receive their money back after losing at the PokerStars website, when the site was considered an illegal gambling operator. Based on the Illinois Loss Recovery Act, any money lost to a gambling provider that is not legally operational can be paid back, with as much as 3x the amount to be provided.

In this most recent ruling, Judge Herndon stated the company couldn’t be deemed a ‘winner’ in the game since the company simply collects a rake.  PokerStars did not have a stake in the way the game was to be decided. Attorneys for PokerStars argued that the plaintiffs were not able to prove who they lost to and what the loss was. This was a statement in which the judge agreed with.

According to Cardschat, Judge Herndon stated in his decision:

“Specifically, defendants argue that other than identifying Casey Sonnenberg as a purported loser, plaintiffs failed to identify a single cognizable loser or a loss in that the second amended complaint does not plead basic facts, including: when the purported loss was incurred, to whom…the loss was sustained, and what is the amount of the loss in question. The Court agrees with defendants and again finds that plaintiffs have failed to plead both loser and loss sufficiently.”

Also in the ruling, the judge found that since the amount of losses and time frame was not stated, the Sonnenbergs could not show grounds that the proper time frame had passed for a non-loser to be involved in the suit, which is stated in the LRA. In the language of the law, it says that a person considered the non-loser (plaintiff) doesn’t have reason for action until the loser of the gambling incident has not brought about a suit in a six month time period of the loss.

Judge Herndon also mentioned that the suit was filed on August 24th 2012, which was close to fifteen months prior to the site shut down on April 15th 2011. In response to the decision, Jeff Ifrah the attorney for PokerStars, stated that the dismissal was a significant victory for the online poker site.

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