Kentucky To Recover $100m In PokerStars Ruling

Kentucky will recover $100 million in bonds from PokerStars, according to Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate, as part of an ongoing legal dispute over the state’s illicit online poker offerings.

The sum must be charged within 20 days, according to the Lexington Herald, but it is just a small portion of the $1.3 billion judgement. The state’s lawyers estimate the amount to be closer to $1.6 billion, with daily interest of more than half a million dollars.

They also point to the transfer of valuable properties, as well as comments from the firm, as evidence of a failure to pay the judgement, with the Flutter Entertainment brand’s lawyers claiming that British law does not recognise harm awards like the one being pushed in this case.

US Supreme Court

After the Kentucky Supreme Court rejected the group’s request for a rehearing in March, Flutter indicated that it would take the case to the US Supreme Court, as well as seek other legal avenues.

At the time the company said: “Flutter remains confident that any amount ultimately paid to resolve this matter will be a limited portion of the reinstated judgment.”

This relates to legal action taken by the Commonwealth in 2010 against several branches of The Stars Group, prior to its merger with Flutter.

Reinstated judgement

The global gaming and betting operator, which completed its merger with Stars Group months earlier, announced in the fourth quarter of 2020 that the Kentucky Supreme Court had reinstated a $870 million judgement, with compounding interest of 12 percent per year.

The lawsuit was originally filed eleven years ago, roughly four years before The Stars Group acquired the PokerStars corporation, and it sought to recover alleged damages by Kentucky residents who played real-money poker on PokerStars’ website between 2006 and 2011. Kentucky used a centuries-old law to bring the suit, which sought to recoup suspected gambling losses suffered by residents.

Initial hearing

The judge awarded approximately $290 million in the initial December 2015 ruling, which was trebled to $870 million excluding interest and expenses. During the relevant period, TSG reported approximately $18 million in gross gaming revenues in Kentucky.

The Court of Appeals reported when the case was overturned three years ago “[a]llowing a complaint, like the one put forth by the Commonwealth, to move forward would lead to an absurd, unjust result.”