Las Vegas Sands Wins Trademark Case Against Mystery Gambling Sites
A Nevada Federal Court has awarded the Las Vegas Sands Corporation a $2 million default judgment in its case against 35 unknown online gambling operators, thought to be from mainland China, who have been piggybacking on the Las Vegas Sands trademarks including use of the Sands name, logo and images of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The Sands battle closely resembles that of the various car manufacturers who were forced to take a number of Chinese carmakers to court after they released copies of the various models in China. However, China has a liberal view on trademarks and copyrights with the Chinese courts ruling against the European and Japanese manufacturers saying the Chinese copies looked nothing like the ones created by the bigger companies.
U.S. District Judge, James C. Mahan, has said that the unknown infringers will have to pay $2 million should they ever be identified. He also enjoined the damages to the unknown registrants of the websites with a default judgment and a permanent injunction that, should they ever be identified, means they would have to shut down their sites or remove the various infringements which include use of the Venetian trademarked design of the winged lion, a background image of the Sands Cotai Central in Macau and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, all of which have appeared on the sites without the permission of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
The online casino sites offer games including: Keno, Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette and Texas Hold ‘Em. The Sands Corp has said that the websites, “falsely affiliate themselves with the Las Vegas Sands Corp. to lure prospective gamblers overseas online casinos,” and “to promote, and provide online casino services and gambling services.”
In its complaint to the Federal Courts, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. said that it strongly opposes legalization of Internet gaming in the United States and is a “strong supporter” of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
Sheldon Adelson, the Chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, has been at the forefront of a tireless crusade to eliminate all forms of online gambling in the US and has personally spent nearly $100 million on political parties in an effort to get Internet gambling outlawed.
Adelson used the his moment in the spotlight at last year’s G2E Global Gaming Expo to continue his campaign against online gambling stating that internet gambling was unsafe, open to criminal organizations to abuse and was contributing to the death of the US casino industry.
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