Flutter Entertainment is expected to appeal a $870 million ruling made by the Kentucky Supreme Court, having argued that the litigation ran contrary to modern US legal precedent.
The case, which was reversed in late 2018, was initially filed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2010, approximately four years prior to The Stars Group’s (TSG) acquisition of the PokerStars business.
It initially sought to recoup the alleged losses by Kentucky residents who had played real-money poker on the PokerStars’ website during a period between 2006 and 2011. During that period, the online poker games were hosted by Oldford.
To recover the alleged losses, the Commonwealth of Kentucky launched legal proceedings against Oldford by citing a centuries old statute.
In a 2015 ruling, the Kentucky judge imposed an ‘award’ equating to approximately $290 million. This was later trebled to $870 million, plus 12% compound interest per year.
Upon the overturn two years ago, the Court of Appeals stated: “Allowing a complaint, like the one put forth by the Commonwealth, to move forward would lead to an absurd, unjust result.”
Responding to the Kentucky Court’s u-turn, Flutter expressed that it was ‘wholly surprised’ at the decision, and would find legal avenues to appeal the decision.
“This litigation had sought recovery of alleged losses by Kentucky residents during a period between 2006 and 2011 relying on a centuries-old statute,” the group added.
The group also noted that “there are a number of legal processes available,” and having taken legal advice that it is confident that “any amount it ultimately becomes liable to pay will be a limited proportion of the reinstated judgement”.
The firm concluded: “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.”