In a judgment handed down on Tuesday 19th January, SMB won a claim to recover the domain name blackjack.com on behalf of our client, Hanger Holdings, from online gambling entrepreneur Simon Croft.
Hanger Holdings entered into an agreement with Uruguayan company Perlake Corporation S.A, which was owned and controlled by Simon Croft. Under the agreement Hanger Holdings was entitled to commission from users of the gambling website and audited financial statements. Little commission was ever paid, eventually this dried up entirely and no audited financial statements were ever provided. When Hanger Holdings took legal steps to recover the domain Simon Croft produced a loan agreement, claiming it was drafted in 2005, which he said entitled him to transfer the domain to himself.
HHJ Hacon found that the loan agreement was likely to have been created much later, and in any event did not entitle him to transfer the domain name to himself.
A spokesperson for Hanger Holdings said “Blackjack.com was recognized as online gaming site of the year 2 years in a row. When we didn’t receive commission or audited statements as per our agreement it raised concerns. We are happy to have this case behind us and are grateful for the diligent work of SMB to rightfully retrieve our domain. The detail and preparation for the trial was unparalleled.”
The full judgement is available here.
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