Dr. Stanley Ho strikes back at HGN lawsuit

Oct 22, 2002 8:10 AM

   Bolstered by a Nevada court ruling, Caribbean Online Ltd. says it expects to prevail in its copyright fight with the Home Gambling Network.

    “We’ll eventually win, and then we’ll sue for court costs,’’ says Peter Kjaer, president of the Antigua-based COL.

   Caribbean Online, which uses the name and likeness of Asian gaming magnate Stanley Ho, was sued by the Nevada-based HGN for allegedly infringing on patented payment software. The site — drho888.com — advertises “live dealers” and invites online gamblers to “bet on anything.”

   But District Judge Larry Hicks dismissed both Ho and Kjaer from the lawsuit and rejected HGN’s bid for a preliminary injunction to shut down the site. After reviewing filings from both sides, Hicks ruled that the case “tilt[s] in favor of” COL.

   “The ”˜268’ patent does not patent all live casino gambling over the Internet,’’ Hicks wrote. “Rather, the ”˜268’ parent applies to live casino gambling over the Internet where debits and credits are paid instantaneously to a player through an active connection with the players’ financial institution. There is no allegation that the drho.com website pays debits and credits in this manner.’’

   The suit, however, is still alive and HGN vows to fight. It maintains that the drho.com site generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year — a figure that Kjaer denies.

   Kjaer, who is Ho’s son-in-law, told GamingToday that COL will spend whatever it takes to defend its position. “It will probably cost us half a million dollars, but we’re not worried about the outcome. I’m just surprised they [HGN] came back after they couldn’t get a preliminary injunction.’’

   Stay tuned.