April 23, 2021 Poker, Legal, Online

Kentucky Judge demands $100m payment from Flutter Entertainment

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A Kentucky Circuit Court judge has ordered Flutter Entertainment to pay $100m in bonds due to its ownership of PokerStars.

Earlier in December, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled PokerStars was part of an illegal gambling operation that generated more than $290m in Kentucky from 2006 to 2011.

The case reached heights of $1.3bn and recently it was renewed by the Supreme Court, which says the company will have to pay $100m in bonds to the State of Kentucky.

Franklin Court Judge Thomas Wingate informed Kentucky State it can collect $100m in bonds that PokerStars should’ve posted through insurance companies during the appeals process.

Judge Wingate has ordered the operator to pay hand over the bonds withing 20 days; the order has been confirmed by Governor Andy Beshear’s office.

However, the state will still need to collect the remaining $1.3bn, which lawyers claim is now up to $1.59bn and still rising. This might prove to be more difficult due to the large sum in question.

Lawyers from the state say in court filings that that PokerStars has been transferring valuable assets and suggest that neither it nor Flutter “have any intention of paying the judgement”. 

PokerStars has asked the US Supreme Court to review the case; PokerStars and Flutter Entertainment have denied any wrongdoing.

Both companies also refer to an old ruling to defend their claim for not paying the sum, when in 2018 the Kentucky Court of Appeals settled the matter and found there was no wrongdoing.

Additionally, in a hearing last week, a lawyer representing Flutter said British Law does not recognize the triple damage payments the Kentucky State is trying to enforce.

Flutter Entertainment lawyer, Sheryl Snyder, said: “The statute in the UK treats the entire judgment as void and unenforceable.

“So the simple point is, my client believes that when you get to the UK to collect, they won’t let you domesticate the judgment.”

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