Flutter Ent ‘Wholly Surprised’ By $870m Online Poker Decision

Flutter Entertainment has said that by a reinstated $870m decision in Kentucky, after which the company takes legal advice and investigates its stance, it is “wholly surprised.”

Initially, the case, which was reversed in late 2018, was brought by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2010, about four years before the PokerStars company was purchased by The Stars Group.

This aimed to recover suspected losses from residents of Kentucky who, during a period between 2006 and 2011, played real-money poker on the PokerStars website. Kentucky relied on a centuries-old law to bring the suit, trying to recover suspected gambling losses suffered by citizens.

The judge levied an award of approximately 290 m in the initial December 2015 ruling, which was trebled to $870 m minus interest and applicable costs.

After the overturn two years ago, the Court of Appeals stated that  “[a]llowing a complaint, like the one put forth by the Commonwealth, to move forward would lead to an absurd, unjust result.”

Subsequently, Flutter, which completed its merger with Stars Group earlier this year, announced that the $870 million judgement with compounding interest of 12 percent per annum was restored by the Kentucky Supreme Court. The gross gaming revenue generated by TSG during the relevant period in Kentucky was approximately 18 m.

Flutter states that on the basis of this judgement, which it believes runs contrary to the modern US legal precedent, it is absolutely shocked and strongly contests.

The group also noted that “there are a number of legal processes available,” and having taken legal advice that it is confident that a limited proportion of the reinstated judgement will be any amount it eventually becomes liable to pay.

The business added: “Together with its legal advisors Flutter is currently reviewing its position. No liability was previously recognised by either TSG or Flutter in relation to this. Flutter’s balance sheet remains robust.”