Last month $290 million was awarded to the state of Kentucky as a judgment against Amaya group holdings and one of its subsidiaries. This was the culmination of a five-year-long case that Kentucky has been running against online gambling companies. The case was filed in 2010 and accused online gambling companies of violating the state’s anti-online gambling laws.
Now the Poker Players Alliance has joined the fray claiming to represent 14,000 poker players from Kentucky. According to Dan Cox, the lawyer who is representing the poker players, it is the players and not the state of Kentucky who should receive the damages awarded in the case. “No one, in this case, is representing the interest of poker players,” Cox said. He went on to say that poker players did not even know about the lawsuit until the judge ruled in favor of the state on November 20.
William Hurt, the lawyer who is representing the state, claims that all poker players had access to the lawsuit at any time during the past five years but only decided to intervene after the ruling. He explained that not a single poker player had come forward throughout the case from October 12, 2006, to April 15, 2011. He then accused the Poker Players’ Alliance of working directly with Amaya to help save it from having to pay more damages.
This is because Kentucky laws allow third parties to seek triple damages during a case while this is not possible for a single party such as the Poker Players Alliance. Therefore, Hurt said, “they have tried to convert this into a single-party case in order to not have to pay the treble damages.” Hurt even went so far as to say that the Poker Players’ Alliance has been paid off by PokerStars in order to support the Internet gambling company in court.
Aside from the whole debate of who deserves the money, both Amaya and the state of Kentucky believe that the $290 million was not calculated properly and have requested Judge Wingate to reconsider his judgment. At the same time, William Hurt has already demanded that triple damages be paid. He believes that the state of Kentucky deserves the full amount of money which would be over $750 million in damages.
Currently, this case still runs unresolved. Don Cox says that the Poker Players’ Alliance has not received any money from PokerStars. The case should be decided on Wednesday when Judge Wingate is scheduled to rule on the appeal to reconsider whether or not $290 million is indeed an accurate amount.
Image source: theppa.org