This Week in Gambling

Kentucky Judge Hits Amaya with $290 Million Judgment

Amaya 3Breaking reports from Kentucky-based news outlets have revealed that a county-level circuit judge issued a massive $290 million judgment last month against PokerStars and its current parent, Canada-based Amaya Gaming, as part of an ongoing case brought by a private firm representing the state’s interests against PokerStars and other offshore sites who once serviced Kentucky players.

Local news reports confirm that Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate awarded the $290 million judgment against several defendants, including Amaya Group Holdings and a subsidiary connected to Stars or Full Tilt operations on Nov. 20.  The state brought its action against the original Full Tilt, PokerStars, and numerous other then-current and former US-facing sites in 2010.  The suit itself was a corollary to a separate action filed by Kentucky officials in 2008, that famously attempted but failed to seize 141 online domains associated in varying degrees to online gambling.

Judge Wingate has yet to assess Amaya’s share of the $290 million total judgment, but Kentucky’s legal representatives believe the company should be responsible for at least $250 million of that amount.

The November 20th judgment issued by Wingate comes in the same case that saw a motion to join filed by a third party, the Poker Players Alliance, less than two weeks ago.   The PPA’s motion to join has not been definitively acted upon, although a “motion hearing” regarding the PPA’s efforts to join the case was held this afternoon in Lexington.  Wingate is the same county-level judge who ruled in favor of Kentucky’s 2008 attempt to seize the 141 domains, in blatant violation of federal law and international trade agreements.  Wingate’s attempted rulings in that case were later reversed.

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