Kentucky Settles Claims Against Poker Rooms; Appeal Court Heards DiCristina Case

After almost six years of legal battle, The State of Kentucky has finally dropped charges against online poker rooms on Thursday. $6 million will be paid to Kentucky in lieu of withdrawing its case against the online poker rooms. Kentucky has filed a complaint against 114 online poker rooms for cheating the residents of Kentucky State in year 2008. It was way before the infamous ‘Black Friday’ incident, in which US federal has seized the assets and URLs of three major online poker websites; PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.

In a settlement deal between PokerStars and US federal Government, which was signed a year ago, PokerStars has agreed to pay $731 million and asked to drop all the charges plus acquisition of Full Tilt Poker. The feds agreed on it and dropped all the charges against the poker Giants. It paid $547 to the Department of Justice and $184 million were used to refund the international players of Full Tilt Poker. J. Michael Brown, Kentucky’s Secretary of Justice and Public safety filed a case against the poker rooms in year 2008. Though Kentucky has dropped its charges against three major online poke websites involved in Black Friday incident, the state has stated that it will go after other websites.

“We have protected Kentucky Customers, our signature horse racing industry and legitimate charitable gaming interest”, stated Governor of the State, Steve Beshear after agreeing to the settlement. The money received by the federal government will go to Kentucky’s General Fund and the payment will be made within next ten days.

DiCristina Case Heard in Appeal Court

The 2nd Circuit Courts of Appeal, New York, heard the argument in Dicristina vs US case yesterday. The US attorneys were appealing the case after a ruling in lower court last year.

What came as a surprise was the US attorney’s decision to not to go after Dicristina’s conviction in which according to which the game of poker as a game of “Skills and Luck” rather than Gambling. Instead the misunderstanding of Judge Jack Weinstein on Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA) became the main point of discussion.

In August 2012, Judge Weinstein made a statement in which he used the skill word as a shield for poker against IGBA. That was the first time after April 2011 when a Federal court has passed a statement in which Poker is considered as gambling.