Kentucky is now collecting its first payment from the $1.3 billion lawsuit it won against online poker room PokerStars. The operator must pay up the first $100 million after Franklin Court Judge Thomas Wingate told the state it could move forward with the collection process.
Late least year, a state Supreme Court judge ruled in favor of Kentucky in the case. The poker company was then ordered to pay the large amount. The original ruling from 2015 was reinstated, which ordered PokerStars to pay $870 million.
The suit first came about back in 2010 when the then Justice and Public Safety Cabinet’s J. Michale Brown filed the claim. It was originally set for $290 million. The lawsuit claimed that PokerStars was operating illegally in the state and the tens of thousands of residents who had deposited at the site had lost hundreds of millions.
The ruling by Wingate then pushed the amount up to $870 million. An appeal was filed by PokerStars and the decision was reversed by the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The appellate court said that the state cannot sue for the citizens of the state.
The state then took the case to the top court in Kentucky, and the ruling turned in their favor. On top of the $870 million to be paid, the new ruling added 12% to the payment in interest. This is how the $1.3 billion figure was reached.
During the appeals process, PokerStars was told to post $100 million in bonds with its insurance companies. Judge Wingate ordered the bonds to be surrendered to Kentucky in the next 20 days. It is unclear as to how the state plans on using the funds paid by PokerStars. However, the judge stated that the money must be placed inside an escrow account that was set up by the state’s attorneys.