For several years now the government of Kentucky has been fighting PokerStars in court based on operations of the company from 2006 to 2011. Basically, the state of Kentucky is claiming that PokerStars illegally operated in the state from the time the UIGEA was passed and Black Friday. A judge in the case ruled last week that PokerStars has to pay the state $870 million, a ruling that Amaya Gaming is prepared to appeal.
Amaya Gaming, the parent company of PokerStars, calls that the ruling is only notable for its absurdity. The company was not the owner of PokerStars during the time frame of the case and paid $4.9 billion to acquire the company years after the time frame listed. In 2012, PokerStars paid close to $731 million to the federal government, but never admitted any wrongdoing by the brand.
Amaya plans on looking to the founders of the company if their appeals for the ruling are not successful. In a statement on the ruling, Amaya Gaming stated that regardless of the dollar amount, the extent to which the entities of PokerStars may be ultimately obligated to pay any amount following the exhaustion of appeals and other legal remedies, the company will seek recovery from the former owners of the company.
Amaya says the lawsuit is without merit, especially considering that residents of the state spent a great deal less during the time frame of the case when compared to the $870 million ruling. Just a few weeks ago, the Poker Players Alliance became involved in the case, trying to stand up for the players in Kentucky. The PPA felt that the lawsuit was a grab by big government to gain access to the funds based on spending of politicians. The PPA was in support of the players and felt that any money paid should go to the players who actually accessed PokerStars and lost money during game play.