Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration is attempting to use an obscure state law to recover losses incurred by Kentuckians who placed bets through Web sites.

A lawsuit filed in a state court names as defendants the Ireland-based Pocket Kings Ltd, which operates the popular Full Tilt Poker portal, and unknown entities that operate dozens of other online gambling sites.

As authorized under the law, the suit seeks to recover three times the amounts lost by Kentuckians who gambled on the Web sites.

Internet gambling is illegal in Kentucky. And this is the second suit the administration has filed against online gambling sites in a battle that has attracted attention from Internet freedom and gambling experts around the country.