- Kentucky won a supreme court battle against PokerStars for damages done to the state.
- PokerStars now must pay $1.3 billion to the state.
- This decision reverses a lower court ruling in the favor of PokerStars.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – After a multi-year court battle, Kentucky has won a $1.3 million court case against PokerStars.
Online Kentucky gambling is mostly done by online gambling sites, which is due to the fact that online gambling is unregulated by Kentucky. But online sites like PokerStars operate within Kentucky, giving gamblers in the state a way to place bets.
During a five-year period, PokerStars saw over $290 million in online poker bets from Kentucky residents. To recoup the losses from the money loss in gambling and to those who turned to crime to fuel USA online gambling habits, the state decided to sue PokerStars for triple the amount lost.
The Definition Of A Person
Originally, the lawsuit against PokerStars made it to the middle courts, where the middle courts ruled in favor of PokerStars. In Kentucky, there are laws that allow for people to sue to recoup losses from gambling. The problem is what defined as a person. The middle court said that the state cannot sue as a stand-in for gamblers, and ruled in favor of PokerStars.
The state then took the case to their Supreme Court of Kentucky and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state. In the opinion of The Supreme Court, the state of Kentucky does meet the legal definition of a person and is able to sue on behalf of those who lost money to PokerStars.
With that in place, the Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of Kentucky, meaning that PokerStars – now owned by Flutter - has to pay $1.3 billion to Kentucky due to interest accumulated during these court proceedings.
“This will never be enough to make up for the damage to Kentucky families and to the state from their years of irresponsible and criminal actions, but this is a good day for Kentucky,” said Andy Beshear, Kentucky Governor. “This better positions us to emerge from this painful pandemic to help Kentuckians, help our businesses, provide quality health care to more Kentuckians, strengthen our public schools and keep our promise to educators and other public employees – some of whom were on the front lines battling the fallout from their greed.”
Governor Beshear says that the state will seek the $1.3 billion payment from Flutter as soon as possible to help rebuilding from the economic damage that PokerStars and COVID-19 has caused. Although Governor Beshear had harsh words, he is still seeking to legalize sports betting in Kentucky.