Kentucky fines PokerStar's owner $870 mln to cover residents' losses

Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:46am EST
 
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Dec 24 (Reuters) - Canadian gaming company Amaya Inc has been ordered by a Kentucky court to pay $870 million in penalties to cover alleged losses by the state's residents who played real-money poker on PokerStars' website between 2006 and 2011.

Amaya, which got PokerStars in 2014 through the $4.9 billion takeover of Rational Group, said on Thursday said it planned to post a bond to stay the enforcement of the order and to appeal in early January.

The company said the ruling was in contrast to the same trial court's decision last month when it determined that damages should be based on the net losses of players.

Amaya argued the latest ruling calculated damages based on the players' gross losses, without accounting for their winnings, bonuses or free play.

The company said Kentucky relied on a "centuries old statute" that allowed people who incurred gaming losses to sue their opponents, rather than authorize the state to sue and collect such losses "for its own benefit".

Montreal-based Amaya said if it is obligated to pay the amount, it would seek recovery from the former owners of PokerStars. (Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)