Six online poker players in Illinois have been hit with a lawsuit by a Florida resident looking to recover ‘illegal poker gambling losses’ dating back to 2006. The six players are Andy Seth, Faraz Jaka, Benjamin LeFew, Mohsin Charania, Ravi Raghavan, and Tyler Reiman. The poker rooms at which they are said to have played include PokerStars, Full Tilt, UB.com, Absolute Poker and Bodog. Plaintiff Scott Crespo is seeking triple the amount of losses suffered at the hands of the six players, plus court costs, and ‘any other relief that the Court deems just’.
The curious part of this suit is that it’s not clear that plaintiff Scott Crespo ever played poker against any of the six, let alone if they took any money off him. Given that the court filing contains numerous references to online poker’s corrupting moral influence, it’s a safe bet that Crespo doesn’t play poker at all.
The Illinois law that Crespo cites as justification for his action states that providing six months have elapsed without any action having been taken by a person that has suffered a gambling loss, anyone can seek to recover those losses – in fact, three times said losses. Cha-ching!
The suit is a disturbing echo of the tactic used by the state of Kentucky in its ongoing case against Full Tilt and PartyPoker. In that case, the state dusted off a century-old statute allowing similarly unaffected third parties to seek treble damages for gambling losses. Given America’s tendencies toward both copycats and frivolous lawsuits, combined with each state’s antiquated gaming laws, and this is likely not the last lawsuit of this type we’ll be hearing about.