Just before Christmas Pokerstars received a truly magnificent gift. In the Kentucky Court of Appeals, which heard one of the most resonant civil cases that the room had to face, the decision was not in favor of the state.
Perhaps, over the seven long years, during which there were litigations, PokerStars rejoiced at the occasional fleeting victories, but they hardly had time to get used to them. The American judicial system does not spoil the defendants with verdicts, especially those like the poker operator.
It is all the fault of the same "Black Friday", because of which the rooms began to have problems. Most of all, Absolute Poker, Ultimate Poker and Full Tilt Poker ... And since the whole group of companies The Stars was involved in the case, its lawyers had to clean up the porridge brewed by the federal authorities.
PokerStars was accused of illegal organization of gambling, and of causing damage to citizens, and other related illegal acts. Initially, the amount of compensation, which the court established, was in the range of three hundred million dollars, but then it tripled.
This is where PokerStars started to fight back with all their might. Firstly, according to their calculations, with all possible exaggerations, the damage caused (of course, with the prefix "supposedly") could not exceed eighteen million, and on what basis this figure increased almost fifty times, no one could explain - the amount was established judge, guided by some inner convictions. That's it, yes!
Secondly, PokerStars began to look for specific victims: under the laws of the state of Kentucky, specific individuals can claim compensation. The court wanted to collect all the money as state revenue.
For several years, both sides stubbornly searched for someone to compensate for the losses, but they never found - neither the authorities, not PokerStars. The appeal filed on time completed what had been started, and three days before Christmas, the financial claims against the room were withdrawn. At least for the time being: the state will most likely file a cross-appeal.
However, the lawyers of the room, headed by Marlon Goldstein, take this calmly: after seven years of beating the rapids in the shelters of Themis all over America, they have become experienced and seasoned fighters. Therefore, in the comments of Goldstein, the idea was expressed that the room would return to the USA, which means that there are all prerequisites for this.
And the point is not even that $870 million remained with The Stars Group. Yes, this is great, and besides, it completely cuts off further attempts to "squeeze" money from the room through the courts. But most importantly, the very possibility of a precedent on which the US judicial system is built has disappeared: the decision of the appellate instance eliminated the annoying inaccuracies of the legislation, thanks to which every user of any of the poker rooms could easily sue them and win any sums.
As for the further actions of the plaintiff's representatives, PokerStars has no doubts: a compromise between the parties will be reached, and soon, gently and on a mutually beneficial basis. Therefore, Mr. Goldstein allows himself to make statements of this kind, and his words about the return of online poker to the United States on a legal basis, in which the expectations of the entire The Stars Group crystallized, are likely to be prophetic.