Illinois Gamblers Unable to Recover Online Losses

Two mothers who’s gambling sons lost on online casinos cannot recover money lost under an Illinois anti-gambling law, ruled the Seventh Circuit.

The two families, Kelly and Casey Sonnenberg, and Judy and Daniel Fahrner, have claimed that the Amaya Group Holdings and the Tiltware owed them money that the two sons lost by gambling on Amaya and Tiltware's websites.

The law in Illinois makes it a crime for anyone who knowingly operates a website that allows a person to play games of chance or skill for wagers or any other thing of value by using the Internet or to make wagers on the result of any game.

The Illinois Loss Recovery Act, allows a gambler who lost more than $50 in any illegal game to be able recover their losses from the winner.

If the gambler does not sue the winner within a six month period, then the law allows a person to recover triple the amount of loss by the gambler.

The Seventh Circuit noted that while the sons' claims were untimely, the mothers' were not.

Judge Richard Posner wrote for the three-judge panel that the problem is the defendants were not the winners of any game plaintiffs (or their sons) played.

Although Amaya and Tiltware take their fees out of the winner's pot for the running of their gambling sites, h said that the charging of a fee for the engagement of gambling was not the same as actually winning a gamble; that a croupier who supervises the casino's poker game was not the gambler, let alone the winner, this was stated in a six-page ruling.

Judge Posner found it unreasonable reading private right of action against the operators of the illegal sites in civil loss recovery law, knowing the criminal penalties that are already imposed by the state.

The Chicago appeals court ruled that the interpretation of the law by Sonnenbergs and Fahrners could also go against the public's interest in discouraging gambling.

Judge Posner said that hordes of new gamblers could be enticed to go on gambling websites if gamblers could not lose any money because the hosts of these gambling websites would have to reimburse the gamblers any losses they incurred.

In conclusion the Judge stated that gamblers knows that the money they put in the pot is at risk. He continued that is not a risk that he has to take, but that he takes with the purpose of hoping to win the pot, or enjoys gambling or taking risks in general. Should a gambler lose $50 he might say to himself I’d have rather won, however $50 is not to great a loss for a night of gambling, and on the way to losing I did win a few good pots and got complements from the guys I was playing with.

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