Flutter denied appeal for litigation against PokerStars

Flutter denied appeal for litigation against PokerStars

Flutter denied appeal for litigation against PokerStars

The state of Kentucky’s Supreme Court has rejected the appeal made by Flutter Entertainment for the rehearing of the lawsuit filed by the state against the company’s subsidiary, PokerStars.

Flutter’s appeal concerns the Court of Appeals’ overturn of its discernment on the subsidiary which owes the Commonwealth of Kentucky approximately $870m for the unlicenced poker bets in had witnessed during the period between 2006 and 2011.

Back in 2018, the state judges were in favour 4-3 of the overturn of a former rejection which meant that the previous owner of the subsidiary, Amaya Inc, was cleared from having to pay a $870m fee to the state’s Commonwealth.

This issue has been going on for about a decade now and is related to the firm’s constant operations in the United States, disallowed under the conditions of the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) which passed back in 2006 and meant that a large portion of these iGaming operators had to leave the local market. PokerStars however, decided to go forth with its operations even though there was such an Act in place prohibiting it from doing so. It claimed that online poker was a ‘grey area’ in the Act.

Back in 2011, the US Department of Justice lengthened the order of the UIGEA to also cover digital interstate transactions and deposits, which meant that online poker was also forbidden, ending up in PokerStars and other competitors to put an end to their operations.

The state’s Commonwealth initiated a court case against the operator, claiming that Kentucky’s 18th century ‘Loss Recovery Act’ meant that the state’s courts are able to confiscate money from these illegal gambling operations.

In 2015, the Kentucky judge implemented an award which amounted to $290 million, which then went up to $870 million, as well as an added 12% of compound interest every year. Kentucky’s penalty was sanctioned once Flutter completed the merger with The Stars Group Inc worth $11bn in order to turn into the international gaming sector’s most valuable firm. 

A statement by Flutter explained:

“Flutter is disappointed by the denial of its rehearing petition and continues to strongly dispute the basis of this judgment. Together with its legal advisors, Flutter will continue to consider its position in relation to the judgment, including potentially appealing the ruling of the case to the US Supreme Court along with other legal avenues which it may pursue thereafter. Flutter remains confident that any amount ultimately paid to resolve this matter will be a limited portion of the reinstated judgment. Further announcements will be made in due course as and when appropriate.”

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