The Toronto based listed company Amaya Inc’s ongoing Kentucky compensation dispute hit the headlines at Christmas and the Circuit Court Judge, Thomas Wingate, had upped the operator’s fine to $870 million.
The ruling was in favour of compensation claim of the state against Amaya’s subsidiary PokerStars, this is in relation to services of online gambling that was offered to Kentucky consumers during the years 2006 through to 2011.
Judge Wingate allowed the Kentucky State to triple their damages claim from $290 million that was awarded in Dec 2015 up to $870 million. The judge also warned Amaya that if they failed to start payments on its compensation it would attract a 12% yearly interest fee.
The Kentucky legislators justified the state’s severe penalty against PokerStars, by stating that the company breached existing Commonwealth laws in relation to gambling. The state could probably penalise the operator, by collecting their residents illegal gambling losses.
Legal Counsel for Amaya’s has labelled the compensation claim being absurd, and further stated that the company was moving to lodge an appeal against this fine.
In their legal proceedings against Kentucky, Amaya has stated that the money that was accrued from the Kentucky consumers during this period amounted to an estimate if $18 million.
Marlon Goldstein, who is the Executive Vice President, also the Corporate Development and General Counsel of Amaya has noted that this was a egregious and frivolous misuse of an state statute that was antiquated for the purpose of enriching the contingent-fee of the plaintiff’s attorneys, that were hired by the Commonwealth, and not for the people of Kentucky.
He continue that since PokerStars only generated a gross revenue of approximately $US18 million from their Kentucky customers over the five years of this issue, this damages award which is in excess of $US800 million is notable as being absurd.
Amaya has every intention to vigorously dispute any liability that might be ordered at the level of the trial court, and they believe that there are many compelling legal arguments that are reserved for consideration, that include, without limitation, the there is a lack of standing in bringing this proceeding that is in the name of the Commonwealth, also there is the Court’s failure to correctly apply the law.
Amaya will be lunching their appeal against Kentucky State compensation during January 2016. The company feel confident that and their representatives will overturn Judge Wingate’s $870 million penalty claim.