Flutter Entertainment has finally settled its long-running legal dispute with the state of Kentucky after the operator agreed to pay a substantial settlement.
The Paddy Power owned operator will pay $200m to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, alongside $100m which had been previously forfeited as a bond to the state. In response to the settlement, Kentucky has agreed to cease further actions against the operator, relating to the case.
In a statement, the operator said: "The Group strongly believes that this agreement is in the best interests of Flutter shareholders. The Group now considers the matter closed."
The case relates to Flutter’s now owned PokerStars brand, which was ordered to pay $290m to the state after being found guilty of providing unlawful gambling services to Kentucky players between 2006 and 2011.
Then last December, Flutter was hit with an $870m fine by the Kentucky Supreme Court, which reinstated a ruling against The Stars Group, who owned PokerStars at the time. The initial award of damages was made in 2015 but thrown out three years later until it was reinstated. At the time, Flutter said it was "wholly surprised by the ruling and strongly disputes the basis of this judgement."
The awarding of sums is much less than the initial fine with Flutter claiming The Stars Group business generated a revenue of $18m from the state during the alleged practices.
Flutter completed its acquisition and merger with The Stars Group on 5 May 2020 after first announcing to purchase all of the group’s issued and outstanding shares to create a merged entity worth just under $5bn, in October 2019.
Flutter’s brands now includes Paddy Power, Betfair, FanDuel, PokerStars and Sky Betting and Gaming.