Something’s cooking in Kentucky – and it’s millions of dollars worth. After the gaming industry decided to make a move against the illegal betting industry, Billi Jo Woods decided to step up as a plaintiff and take things into his own hands.
The reasons for the lawsuit:
The speculation about the illegal betting case related to Bovada, one of the most famous offshore online casinos and sportsbooks in the world, is getting its epilogue in the court. The lawsuit against Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, Alywin Morris, Calvin Ayre, and Harp Media BV was filed on August 8. Allegedly, Bovada is accused of offering illegal gambling products in the States.
In the lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Kentucky, the amount of money in damages can potentially, if proven guilty, be more than $5 million in damages.
Kentucky gambling loss recovery statute, established back in the 1800s, lets the person who lost their money get it back in court. Nowadays, it allows people to get money in damages in some cases, and that’s what the plaintiff wants to achieve.
There might be a personal element in the Bovada case: according to some sources, Woods himself spent a lot of money on Bovada’s websites, so he wants it back.
The Canadian company Morris Mohawk Gaming Group is accused of getting huge revenues from the websites connected to Bovada. Bodog’s owner and chief operator, Ayre, is accused of listing allegedly illegal Bovada sites within its renowned Bodog Network. There is also Harp Media BV, a company based in Curaçao, which is a partial owner of Bovada’s websites.
Behind the scenes:
The Bovada sites allowed the customers to deposit their money for further exploitation – and the plaintiff accuses the company that the outcome of that money depends solely on the chance and luck of the player, which isn’t in accordance with the state’s laws since it advertised as a “legitimate online business.” Kentucky law allows the losers to retain their funds within five years of placing or in the case of the death of the winner. If that doesn’t happen, the loser has the right to be paid for damages.
A similar lawsuit occurred recently when Woods got more than a billion dollars from PokerStars, relying on the same law through the settlement.
But the Bovada case just began – and it seems it will last for years, especially when considering that there would probably be other defendants and plaintiffs all around the world with similar accusations. What is certain is that the case will be hard to solve, especially when it comes to mind the existence of an international convention that allows the defendant to be served within 90 days after filing the complaint.
If the complaint is disregarded, the defendant has a 90 days gap to respond. After they’re served, there will be 20 days to respond to the complaint. All of this makes the case much more complicated than the usual US-based one.