A European Endeavor for Starnet

21 September 1999
Amid its legal woes of late, Starnet Communications switched to the offensive Monday, announcing that it has successfully served former licensee Claude Levy with a defamation law suit in Belgium for what the company calls "patently false, malicious statements" published by the defendant.

The suit is in response to the statements made by Levy since the company's subsidiary, Starnet Systems International Inc., terminated a licensing agreement with Levy's company, Las Vegas Casino Inc. A statement issued Monday by Starnet maintains that the termination was for non-payment of licensing fees and that Levy's statements were false and defamatory.

Starnet is claiming aggravated damages for loss of business opportunities, loss of market value and serious injury to its character, credit and reputation in connection with the refusal of the defendant to publish a retraction of the defamatory statements, despite having been requested in writing to do so.

Las Vegas Casinos operated several dozen online casinos as a Starnet licensee until July, when their agreement was terminated by Starnet. Immediately following the termination, Las Vegas Casinos issued a press release saying that it was sewing Starnet for $1 billion. Several articles were subsequently published in an online magazine allegedly operated by Las Vegas Casinos. During that period, Starnet' stock dropped to $10 from over $20.