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Kentucky Goes after Bovada with Class Action Lawsuit

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Kentucky has initiated a class action lawsuit against Bovada’a gambling operations claiming that that there has been significant violations of state law. Plaintiff Billi Jo Woods has initiated the lawsuit and is claiming that the operator ran an illegal gambling service within the state, which lead to significant financial losses for its users.

Targeting Bovada and Associated Parties for Alleged Violations

The lawsuit not only targets Bovada but also Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, Alywin Morris, Calvin Ayre, and Harp Media BV. Bovada is widely known for its broad range of offshore sports betting and live online casino offerings, and the company now faces accusations of offering gambling services that breach federal law by operating within the US.

Filed in the Eastern District of Kentucky, the legal action seeks class certification with the aim of recovering damages in excess of $5 million. The core of the plaintiff’s argument relies upon a Kentucky gambling loss recovery statute from the 1800s, a legal provision that allows individuals who have lost money through gambling to sue for compensation. In specific instances, Kentucky law provides for trebling of damages.

The complaint is built around the claim that Bovada has violated Kentucky law and exploited thousands of punters. The plaintiffs are not only seeking recovery of individual losses but also the legal costs of bringing the case. This lawsuit utilizes federal diversity jurisdiction, enabling the dispute to be resolved within federal courts, despite being based on state law.

A Case that Reflects Previous Legal Challenges

Kentucky resident Billi Jo Woods claims to have lost thousands of dollars through gambling on Bovada’s platforms. Additionally, the lawsuit implicates Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, based in the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec, Canada, accusing them of earning substantial revenue from various internet domains linked to Bovada.

Bovada is a subsidiary of Bodog, a major presence in the offshore gambling world. Calvin Ayre, who is now a defendant, founded the company, although Ayre claimed to have left the gambling world in 2009.

There have been numerous corporate changes at Bodog over the year, making it quite difficult to track. For example, in 2016, the poker division was sold to Ignition Casino, which was later bought by the Hong Kong-based investment group PaiWangLuo.

The new lawsuit has similarities with the settlement that was reached between Kentucky and PokerStars, which also relied upon a loss recovery statute. The outcome of this case could have a major effect on the accountability and legality of offshore gambling operators, and as such, it is likely to be closely followed.

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