Kentucky awarded $1.3 billion in internet gambling case

FRANKFORT, Ky. —

The commonwealth's decade-long fight against an illegal offshore internet gambling company ends in favor of Kentucky.

Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court reinstated an almost $1.3 billion award for Kentucky in a judgment against PokerStars. The Supreme Court reinstated the Franklin Circuit Court judgment concluding a 12-year legal battle.

“This will never be enough to make up for the damage to Kentucky families and to the state from their years of irresponsible and criminal actions, but this is a good day for Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “This better positions us to emerge from this painful pandemic to help Kentuckians, help our businesses, provide quality health care to more Kentuckians, strengthen our public schools and keep our promise to educators and other public employees – some of whom were on the front lines battling the fallout from their greed.”

In 2008, J. Michael Brown, then-Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet under Gov. Steve Beshear who now serves as Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive cabinet secretary, brought actions on behalf of the commonwealth in Franklin Circuit Court seeking to stop the unregulated, untaxed and illegal offshore gambling operations that were operating in Kentucky.

From 2007 to 2011, PokerStars, the largest offshore illegal gambling operator, collected almost $300 million in actual cash losses from thousands of Kentuckians who played on PokerStars' websites.

Once the Kentucky Supreme Court’s opinion is final, the commonwealth will take aggressive steps to collect the judgment for the benefit of all Kentuckians.

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