King’s Resort owner Leon Tsoukernik has filed a $23.1m lawsuit against Facebook for permitting fake online casino ads that use photos of his casino. [Image: Flickr.com]
King’s Casino photo is used
King’s Resort owner Leon Tsoukernik has sued Facebook for 500 million Czech crowns ($23.1m) for permitting false advertising on its platform that uses his casino’s image. Czech newspaper Hospodářské noviny (HN) was the first to report on the lawsuit, which was filed in Pilsen Regional Court earlier this month.
The ads encourage Facebook users to sign up for an online casino, offering a welcome bonus. While they do not mention King’s Resort by name, they use photos of the casino’s front entrance and tout: “The best Czech casino is now online!”
Anyone who has visited King’s Resort or lives in the area and is familiar with it would definitely recognize it in the photos. Tsoukernik said the people behind the ads are likely scammers, so if people who fall for the ads think King’s Resort is behind them, the casino’s reputation could be harmed.
Facebook not abiding by regulations
Tsoukernik explained to HN that because of strict regulations in the Czech Republic, only licensed gambling companies can advertise gambling services. Those companies must also warn of the possibility of addiction in their ads.
I don’t understand how they can release such fraudulent advertising”
“In other media, if we want to advertise, they require us to prove the license, trademarks for the logo, and the like,” Tsoukernik told HN (translation by Google). “Even two years ago, Facebook demanded it from us, so I don’t understand how they can release such fraudulent advertising.”
Tsoukernik and King’s Resort have enlisted the assistance of the customs office, the government body that regulates gambling advertising.
“As an advertiser, Facebook must tell the regulator who the advertiser is. At the moment, the customs office is resolving the case, but we have no information on how far they are,” said Tomáš Osička, who represents King’s Resort and HN.
Tsoukernik said that he has asked Facebook to take the ads down more than once, but has been ignored. Facebook did respond to HN’s questions, but simply said that it takes “misleading” ads seriously and that people should report them when spotted. The social media behemoth did not say anything about King’s Resort specifically or why it has not responded to its calls.
Largest poker room in Europe
King’s Resort, formerly King’s Casino, houses Europe’s largest poker room. Though one might expect that honor to go to a cardroom in say, the UK or France, it is a poker room in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, a small village on the German border with a population under 1,000, that holds the title. Opened in June 2003, King’s Resort has over 160 poker tables and spreads a wide range of stakes of both No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha cash games. The card room also runs daily tournaments.
The casino’s rise to prominence in the poker world began in 2015, when it hosted a World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit Event. In 2017, King’s Resort really made the leap, becoming the long-term venue for the WSOP Europe after the poker festival had jumped around the continent for years. The 2021 WSOP Europe will run November 19 to December 8 and feature 15 gold bracelet events.
Though the casino is currently closed, King’s Resort also played a major role in reviving some live poker last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. It served as the host of the final table of the “international bracket” of the World Series of Poker Main Event. Players outside of the United States first competed online on GGPoker; the final table played out live at King’s Resort.