Posts Tagged ‘Black Friday poker’

PokerStars loses $870m Lawsuit to Kentucky

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

amaya-kentuckyAmaya Gaming, which owns PokerStars, has been battling the state of Kentucky in court. And unfortunately, Amaya has lost their lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Kentucky, resulting in an $870 million win for the Bluegrass State.

Judge Thomas Wingate made the ruling after determining that PokerStars violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement (UIGEA) from 2006 to 2011. Wingate awarded Kentucky $870 million based on the total losses by the state’s residents in this five-year period. He also tacked on an additional 12 percent interest for each year until the entire amount is paid back.

Amaya is already working on an appeal that’s based on several aspects of the case. First off, they argue that Kentucky residents only lost $18 million; the $870 million figure doesn’t take into account any winnings or bonuses that the players earned from 2006-11.

Another problem with this case is that Kentucky used a 19th-century law that lets gamblers sue their opponents for losses. This law does not, however, allow a state like Kentucky to sue gambling companies for their own benefit. Given that none of the $870 million will be going to the actual players, this lawsuit is entirely for Kentucky’s benefit.

It certainly seems like Amaya has a good chance to win their appeal based on all the factors in the case. But assuming they don’t win the appeal, Amaya plans to seek the money from PokerStars’ old owner, the Rational Group.

Rational, an Israeli-based company that sold PokerStars to Amaya for $4.9b, led Stars during the time when they violated the UIGEA. This same company already paid $736 million to the U.S. government as part of a settlement. But the judgement that Kentucky won would see them get even more money than the federal government.

Mexico Online Poker Bill coming – Expect Negative Outcome

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Mexico is moving closer to regulating online poker, and iGaming in general. A new bill will be introduced to the House of Representatives on September 9th and could be voted into law as early as Sept. 20th. The idea is to update Mexico’s archaic gaming laws, which are still based on legislation from 1947.

The initial thought here is that online poker regulation could be good for the country. After all, many American players are excited about what regulation in the United States might bring. However, there are a couple of huge downsides that could sour iPoker regulation in Mexico. That said, let’s discuss the negative consequences that could arise.

Big Sites shut out

For well over a decade, iPoker has been a gray area in Mexico. PokerStars has especially benefited from this lack of clear legislation. However, things may soon change in a big way since Mexico is expected to create iGaming legislation that’s similar to the US.

Senator Maria Espinoza proposed a bill in May that would force online operators to have a land-based casino license. Additionally, these companies need servers established in Mexico. Of course, there’s no guarantee that any accepted bill would be just like Espinoza’s. But if it’s close, big sites like PokerStars will be shut out of the party.

US Poker Refugees displaced

When the US enacted Black Friday, many serious pros moved south of the border so that they could continue playing at PokerStars and other online rooms. After all, Mexico really didn’t do anything to keep major poker sites out of their country. But if legislation does go down as expected, it would end this period of open options.

In the long run, maybe Mexican poker laws will be good and encourage more recreational players to get involved. However, the immediate ramifications don’t look good.