PokerStars, the biggest online poker operator in the world continues to do well even though its facing stiff competition from GGPoker. It’s been very busy for the number one online poker room in the world as COVID-19 has caused a boom in the global online poker market.
While PokerStars continues to look for ways to dominate the online poker market, its parent company Stars Interactive Holdings is looking for ways to get its $1.3 billion penalty to the state of Kentucky reduced.
Kentucky Continues To Go After PokerStars
Kentucky decided to go after PokerStars since the online poker room offered services in the Bluegrass state from 2007 and 2011 even though it wasn’t licensed to do so. PokerStars stayed out of the U.S online poker market for many years and could not get a license for a long time in New Jersey because of the way it conducted its online poker operations.
PokerStars was used to operate in grey markets when it was owned and managed by Amaya Group Holdings and the Rational Entertainment Enterprises. Things changed when Stars Group took over but Kentucky isn’t willing to let PokerStars get away with their chequered past.
The state ruled that a total of $300 million in losses were suffered by PokerStars players in Kentucky and wanted PokerStars to pay out this amount. PokerStars refused to pay out the cash and decided to file an appeal against Kentucky. During the last decade, the case has been in and out of different courts.
A Franklin Circuit Court ruled that PokerStars needed to pay out a total of $1.3 billion in charges due to accumulated interest over the years. PokerStars was aghast with the ruling and appealed those charges. In 2019, the Kentucky Court of Appeals dismissed the case and said Kentucky did not have enough standing to file this claim as there were no players who could provide proof that they had lost money playing at PokerStars.
Kentucky’s Loss Recovery Act
Kentucky did not accept that ruling and decided to take the case to the Kentucky Supreme Court. The legal team representing Kentucky invoked the Kentucky’s Loss Recovery Act (KLRA) which gives individuals the right to recover their losses from the winner. If the individual decides against recovering their losses, then a third party has the right to sue the winner for three times the amount.
Kentucky decided to use the KLRA as their basis for going after PokerStars on behalf of all players that suffered losses playing on the PokerStars platform from 2007 to 2011. This is now officially the biggest civil judgment case in the history of Kentucky. The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of the state and has ordered PokerStars to pay $1.3 billion.
PokerStars Asks For Reduction In Fine
PokerStars is now looking to see how best it can reduce the $1.3 billion fine. The legal team for PokerStars has approached the U.S. Supreme Court and argued that Kentucky is trying to make their client a poster child for unusual and unfair punishment. The petition they filed in the Supreme Court points out that the KLRA has not been applied in Kentucky for over six decades.
The petition also points out that only a small portion of gambling was carried out on PokerStars from 2007 to 2011 whereas the majority of gambling was done via the official state lottery. The legal defense for PokerStars argued that the Kentucky Supreme Court made a judgment that is forcing their client to pay 34x the losses suffered by PokerStars players and 50x the revenue lost by actual petitioners.
The PokerStars legal counsel has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to apply breaks based on the constitution to ensure that the damage claims are not exaggerated and that their client is not forced to pay monstrous damages in the name of the law!

TightPoker Staff

TightPoker Staff

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