Flutter considering its options after Kentucky denies rehearing petition

Flutter Entertainment has expressed its disappointment after the Kentucky Supreme Court denied a petition made by the group for a rehearing regarding its December 17, 2020, decision.

This relates to legal proceedings originally brought by the Commonwealth against certain subsidiaries of The Stars Group in 2010, prior to its combination with Flutter.

Towards the culmination of the past year, Flutter, which completed its merger with Stars Group months earlier, reported that the Kentucky Supreme Court has reinstated an $870m judgement with compounding interest of 12 per cent per annum. 

Initially filed eleven years ago, approximately four years prior to The Stars Group’s acquisition of the PokerStars business, the case sought recovery of alleged losses by Kentucky residents who played real-money poker on PokerStars’ website during a period between 2006 and 2011. To bring the action, Kentucky relied on a centuries old statute seeking the recovery of alleged gaming losses incurred by residents.

In the original December 2015 decision, the judge imposed an approximately $290m award, which was trebled to $870m excluding interest and applicable costs. Gross gaming revenues generated by TSG in Kentucky during the relevant period was approximately $18m.

Upon the overturn three years ago, the Court of Appeals stated “[a]llowing a complaint, like the one put forth by the Commonwealth, to move forward would lead to an absurd, unjust result.”

In a media statement concerning the denial of the hearing, the company noted: “Flutter is disappointed by the denial of its rehearing petition and continues to strongly dispute the basis of this judgment. 

“Together with its legal advisors, Flutter will continue to consider its position in relation to the judgment, including potentially appealing the ruling of the case to the US Supreme Court along with other legal avenues which it may pursue thereafter. 

“Flutter remains confident that any amount ultimately paid to resolve this matter will be a limited portion of the reinstated judgment. Further announcements will be made in due course as and when appropriate.”