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Anne Lindner
 

Poker.com To Launch U.S.-Based Skill Poker Site

21 February 2003

As Poker.com Inc. continues the battle to get its domain name back, it is moving forward with plans to launch a skill-based poker site out of the United States.

The company, which is based in Vancouver, said this week that it has acquired the provisional patent application and assets related to a skill-based poker system from Blue Diamond International Capital Inc. of Switzerland.

Mark Glusing, the president of Poker.com, said the new game will be operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Poker.com called SkillPoker.com. He said the group is in the process of developing the gaming technology and will launch the site as soon as possible.

He said he could not reveal the way skill is integrated into the rules of poker.

"The tournament play is the same as normal play, but there's a method through which the method of chance is removed," he said. "The winner of the tournament will always be the best player."

The provisional patent application covers many forms of poker, and Poker.com has acquired domain names in addition to SkillPoker.com including SkillBlackjack.com, SkillOmaha.com, SkillHoldem.com and SkillStud.com.

In exchange for rights to the provisional patent application, Poker.com paid Blue Diamond $50,000 and issued it 3 million shares of Poker.com common stock. Each month, Blue Diamond will receive either $3,500 or 4 percent of gross monthly revenue from the skill-based games, depending on which is greater.

Glusing said SkillPoker.com plans to locate the servers on which the skill games will be played in Washington state. The decision to locate in Washington was based on the state's favorable tax laws and has nothing to do with gaming laws, he said. Poker.com said it consulted I. Nelson Rose, who is an expert in online gambling law and a professor at Whittier Law School. Glusing said Rose gave a satisfactory opinion on the legality of operating SkillPoker.com in the United States.

Meanwhile, Poker.com's legal situation regarding the "poker.com" domain is still unresolved. In December, Poker.com found that the company that owned the domain, ALA Corp., had suddenly allowed another online casino the use of it.

Michael Jackson, who was president of Poker.com at the time, told Interactive Gaming News that overnight, and without anyone from Poker.com being informed, the domain was transferred to Aztec Riches Casino.

Jackson said Poker.com had been in the process of renegotiating its monthly fee for the use of the domain name, and that ALA Corp. gave the domain to another company because it figured it could command a higher monthly fee than what Poker.com was paying.

Since then the ownership of the domain name has transferred to Communications Services Inc. Communications Services announced this week that the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, an arbitrator for ICANN, had ruled that Poker.com has no compliant with it regarding the domain.

Glusing said CPR ruled that Poker.com's dispute is not with Communications Services.

"The ruling with ICANN basically said that our claim isn't against the current registrant of the URL, our claim is against the previous registrant to the URL, which makes it a contractual issue," he said.

Poker.com is still pursuing legal action regarding the name.

"We're very hopeful that we will get the URL back, based on the fact that we obliged with all the terms and conditions of the contract," he said. "We were not in breach of anything, and we feel that the Poker.com domain is something that we have the right to use."

Glusing also said that although Poker.com had been considering becoming a private company, the board of directors has decided to remain public.

Poker.com To Launch U.S.-Based Skill Poker Site is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner