The state of Kentucky finally gave up on its fraud claims against the biggest three poker sites Pokerstars, Fulltilt Poker and Absolute Poker after the US government agreed to give of the settlement funds to the state. The settlement came almost a year after Pokerstars agreed to pay $731 million to settle the US Governments fraud allegations.
In July 2012, PokerStars, an online poker company based in the Isle of Man, has agreed to pay $731m to US authorities to settle allegations of money laundering and bank fraud.
In its civil and criminal investigations, the government alleged that the Pokerstars, Fulltilt Poker and Absolute Poker operated illegal gambling businesses and committed various crimes like wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and violations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, a 2006 federal law that makes it a crime to knowingly accept payments “in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful Internet gambling.”
The agreement also include PokerStars absorb Dublin-based rival Fulltilt Poker and reimburse money that Fulltilt Poker owes to its players. $547 million of the $731m was paid to the U.S. Department of Justice and the remaining $184 million was paid to Full Tilt’s non-U.S. customers.
Full Tilt and PokerStars were accused by authorities of trying to work around the ban to continue to operate in the US. Although the district attorney for New York, Preet Bharara, said “The settlements demonstrate that if you engage in conduct that violates the laws of the United States, as we alleged in this case, then even if you are doing so from across the ocean, you will have to answer for that conduct and turn over your ill-gotten gains.”, neither PokerStars or Full Tilt admitted to any wrongdoing as part of the agreement.
However in Kentucky, J. Michael Brown of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet had filed a verified claim asserting an ownership interest in the claims against Pokerstars, Full Tilt and Absolute in September of 2011.
It all came to an end by this Monday, June 19 when the state of Kentucky agreed to fully and finally dismiss its claim to the domains in question and all actions pending in Kentucky state court in exchange of a payment of $6m within 10 days of Kentucky’s dismissal of the actions, according to the stipulation.