Closure for Kerry Rogers?

3 May 1999
New York prosecutors last week dropped their criminal complaint against Kerry Rogers for his involvement with Winner's Way online sportsbook. This week his battle with the state of Minnesota came to a close as well.

Rogers was one of the 21 people socked with complaints by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York last year for violating the Interstate Wire Act. His argument--that his company provided an informational website on which Winner's Way advertised, but never actually accepted a bet--apparently held up, as the complaint was dismissed. He could have been given up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Meanwhile, a settlement has finally been reached in the case between Rogers' company, Granite Gate Resorts, Inc., and the state of Minnesota. In 1995, former Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III sued Rogers for false advertising and deceptive trade practices because Rogers operated a published intentions of offering bets over the Internet. The case hinged on whether Minnesota could have jurisdiction over Rogers' website because it is published in Minnesota, even though Rogers is in Nevada. A motion by Rogers to dismiss the lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds was denied when the Minnesota Supreme Court voted 3-3 on the issue.

Humphrey originally sought to fine Rogers $25,000 and to order the shutting down of his website. The two parties came to an agreement Wednesday which entails that Rogers must post a disclaimer on his site pertaining to Minnesota citizens.

Rogers expressed confidence throughout the trial, as he did in the New York case. "I admit no wrong doing," he explained. "The big issue is jurisdiction. I wasn't in Minnesota and I believe Minnesota still has no jurisdiction." is currently not operating and Rogers hasn't revealed plans to re-launch it. Nor has he indicated plans of carrying through with accepting bets online.

A copy of the agreement between Rogers and the State of Minnesota will be available at IGN in coming days.