Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Against PokerStars, Awards $1.2BN Settlement

Kentucky Supreme Court has reached a verdict in a longstanding online gambling case that finds PokerStars guilty and having to pay up the $1.2 billion settlement fine.

This will help the state emerge stronger form the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, as Franklin Circuit Court judgment is reinstated by the Supreme Court, which finalizes the decade-long fight against illegal offshore online gambling.

The Ruling

The total sum of the judgement is $870 million plus the interest…

…and, as Governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear says: “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.

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.”

A Dispute

PokerStars’ mother company, Flutter Entertainment, objects to the ruling and says they are considering their legal options.

Their statement says that there was a ruling against “certain subsidiaries of The Stars Group before their combination with the Flutter Group.”

“The Kentucky Supreme Court judgement has reinstated an award of damages against TSG made in 2015 by a Kentucky trial court judge. That 2015 ruling had subsequently been vacated in its entirety by the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 2018. The outcome of today’s Kentucky Supreme Court ruling is that the $870 million judgement against TSG has been reinstated with compounding interest of 12% per annum.”

The statement then goes on to say…

…that the gross gaming revenues that The StarsGroup generated in Kentucky during the relevant period was $18 million. The company is “wholly surprised” by the ruling and disputes the basis of the judgment which “runs contrary to the modern US legal precedents.”

Flutter’s legal advisors are reviewing the position.

Almost $300 million in cash losses from thousands of Kentuckians who played on PokerStars websites was collected by PokerStars, biggest offshore illegal gambling operator from 2007 to 2011.

The commonwealth then looked for recovery of the $300 million lost by its citizens and has trebled damages according to Kentucky law.


“Supreme Court reinstates $1.2 billion ruling in internet gambling case”,, December 17th, 2020.

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