Bovada Faces Kentucky Lawsuit for Alleged Illegal Online Gambling Activity

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Bovada Faces Kentucky Lawsuit for Alleged Illegal Online Gambling Activity
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A man who lost thousands of dollars gambling on Bovada’s websites has filed a lawsuit in the state of Kentucky accusing the online gambling operator of illegal activity in the Bluegrass State.

The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Kentucky on behalf of plaintiff Billi Jo Woods, has named named Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, Alwyn Morris, Calvin Ayre, and Harp Media BV alongside Bovada. The suit alleges that Morris Mohawk receives substantial revenues from Bovada-related websites and has named group CEO Alwyn Morris in the action. Although Bovada founder Calvin Ayre has previously stated that he is now longer associated with Bovada, he is also named in the lawsuit along with partial owner Harp Media.

The lawsuit alleges that Bovada breached both federal and state laws by Bovada by advertising to Kentucky residents that is is a “legitimate online business.” The suit also asserts that, as a result, the company exploited thousands of users in the state.

According to state law, anyone who has lost money through gambling in the state is allowed to sue for compensation up to as much as three times the actual gambling losses. At present, the suits alleges that there is at least $5 million in damages related to illegal gambling via Bovada’s domains.

PokerStars precedent

The lawsuit looks to build on the precedent set in 2020 when the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that PokerStars was “an illegal internet gambling criminal syndicate” operating in the state. The following year Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that the state could collect $100 million in bonds from PokerStars. The bonds were posted through insurance companies prior to the December ruling.

Ciaran McEneaney

Gambling industry analyst with over a decade of experience working with for some of the biggest names in the sports-betting, gambling, poker & casino industry.