Flutter Entertainment submitted a petition to the US Supreme Court. This is in its pursuit of a reversal of the $1.3 billion damages imposed on it by Kentucky for offering illegal games. The damages were against The Stars Group.
The Kentucky Supreme Court reinstated a 2015 ruling against The Stars Group issued in the Franklin Circuit Court. This ruling was made in December 2020 after the court found Flutter brand in breach of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This was for the period from 2007 to 2011 when it ordered TSG to pay $870 million as damages.
The Loss Recovery Act made it possible for the claim to be filed in 2010. This Act allows gamblers in the state of Kentucky to recover their losses through direct legal action. If they fail to file a suit against the operator in six months, a third party can file a lawsuit to seek damages up to three times the loss accrued by the gambler.
TSG appealed the decision by the Franklin Circuit Court in December 2018 at the Kentucky Supreme Court. The ruling was overturned. But the reinstated ruling was even harsher after the operator was ordered to pay compound interest on the principal amount. That takes the total amount to $1.3 billion.
But Flutter petitioned the case for a local hearing which was turned down in March. This meant it had only one option and that was to head to the US Supreme Court. Flutter’s petition called the damages “monstrous” which needed the court’s review. The petition went on saying the court should flash a red constitutional light at the speeding damages.
Flutter also slammed the massive settlement ruling saying it exceeded the players’ actual losses by a factor of 34. The settlement also exceeded the actual petitioners’ revenue by a factor of 50.
Flutter added in its petition that the judgment by the Kentucky Supreme Court is a disconnect from the logical measure of real-world damage. The gambling company stated the period in question, the gross gambling revenue in Kentucky was only $26 million. This is a fraction of the ticket sales by the Kentucky State Lottery in 2020 which was $1.2 billion.
The gambling company requested for a review of the damages which it says the Kentucky court allowed for the aggregation of all lost bets into one action. It also stated damages to Kentucky were only based on losing hands without considering the petitioner’s revenue or the winning hands.
Flutter went ahead to argue that instead of turning down the excessive punishment with no connection to the actual damage, the court in Kentucky tripled the damages to a “monstrous” figure.