DAILY BUZZ: 2+2/Boyd Lawsuit, Poker Up at Party, Pa. Layoffs Loom

Welcome to the BLUFF Daily Buzz, where we scour the entire internet for all the latest news in and around the world of poker. If it involves chips and cards, or people known to associate with chips and cards, we’re there.

Mason Malmuth comments on 2+2/Dutch Boyd lawsuit

Last week in this space I told you about a lawsuit filed by Two Plus Two against pro poker player Dutch Boyd for operating a website that infringed on the poker publisher’s trademarked name. The details of the case weren’t clear at the time, but founder Mason Malmuth posted an explanation of the lawsuit on the popular forum late yesterday afternoon to give his company’s side of the story.

According to Malmuth, Boyd’s domain-jacking website had been earning “substantial revenue” for Boyd over the last five years, which led 2+2’s lawyers to contact the volatile pro on multiple occasions. The first time he replied that the domain had expired. Then he told 2+2’s lawyers “that he was ‘not afraid of being sued’ and that Two Plus Two was ‘wasting its time.’” Boyd responded to a third and final email with two words: “f*ck off.”

“We never enter into litigation lightly, and it is never our attempt to ‘bully’ anyone,” wrote Malmuth. “However, we take protection of our intellectual property very seriously. If Dutch Boyd wants to reach out to our lawyers in a more civil manner to discuss new settlement terms, he is certainly free to do so. But until we get some reasonable cooperation from Boyd, we’ve instructed our lawyers to pursue this litigation and seek all damages, attorneys fees, and costs to which we’re entitled.”

(Boyd lawsuit statement – 2+2 News, Views and Gossip forum)

Pa. governor warns of layoffs if table games legislation doesn’t pass

Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor, Ed Rendell, today warned lawmakers in the capital that failure to pass the pending legislation which would allow slots casinos in the state to spread poker and table games by January 8th would force him to lay off 1,000 government workers for lack of funds.

The state Senate made amendments this week to the House’s bill and sent it back to the lower chamber to be worked out, but legislators adjourned yesterday and will not be working on any necessary compromises until the end of their holiday break in two weeks. That leaves Democrats and Republicans just three days to hammer out their differences when they get back to work, but the governor was upbeat that the House would pass the bill before the deadline.

“The consequences are dire if we don’t pass this,” said Rendell. “The House and Senate versions are 95 percent identical. I believe this can be worked out.” Passage of the bill would account for $250 million of the state budget, which was passed in November without any agreement in the legislature on the table games bill.

(Without table games, Pa. Layoffs loom again – Philadelphia Inquirer)

PartyGaming poker revenues climbing after long slump

After six straight quarters of seeing its poker revenue decline, European online gaming giant PartyGaming’s poker books are back in the black. Investment firm Morgan Stanley credited a more regulated European market, Party’s player loyalty programs, and the strength of the dollar for the uptick, which will help revenues come in just ahead of the board’s forecast.

In a statement accompanying the news, Party CEO Jim Ryan noted that European operators are facing major competition from PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, which he referred to as “illegal U.S.-facing sites.” Despite that, Ryan sees long-term growth potential in the newly liberalized French and Italian markets, as well as opportunities with its newly-acquired World Poker Tour brand once the United States finally decides to get on board the regulated online poker bandwagon.

(PartyGaming flush with poker revival – Financial Times)

Kentucky gets personal in anti-gambling fight

Kentucky’s attempt to seize 141 online gambling website domain names in 2008, which was struck down earlier this year by the state Appeals Court but appealed to the state Supreme Court, has taken a late twist once again. In a new petition to the Franklin County Circuit Court, which first authorized the state to seize the domain names, the Kentucky government is seeking to add the names of unspecified American citizens and companies whom it claims are involved in illegal online gambling.

“In the course of the litigation and the Commonwealth [of Kentucky]’s continuing investigation, the Commonwealth has learned the identity of certain entities and individuals involved in internet gambling operations, some of whom are US citizens,” reads the motion. “The Commonwealth asks for leave to amend its Complaint to add causes of action against these individuals and entities in personam.”

Internative Media and Entertainment and Gaming Assocation (iMEGA) chairman Joe Brennan, whose organization filed the initial complaint against the state after its domain name claim, described the move as desperate. “We’re unaware of any ‘investigations’ by the state attorney-general or law enforcement in Kentucky,” said Brennan. “The Attorney-General himself asked to be dismissed from this suit last year. And there are no indictments or convictions that would enable Kentucky’s lawyers to add the names of individual US citizens to their seizure action.”

The new petition seeks a hearing in Franklin County Circuit Court on January 20th of next year.

(Online gamers added to Kentucky seizure list – eGaming Review)

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