Paddy Power-owner Flutter pays $300 million to settle Kentucky poker dispute

·1 min read
Paddy Power (PA Archive)
Paddy Power (PA Archive)

Flutter Entertainment, the owner of Paddy Power, has reached a deal to settle a long-running legal dispute with the state of Kentucky.

Kentucky has been pursuing PokerStars for over a decade after accusing the site of letting Kentucky residents gamble on its site between 2007 and 2011. Flutter acquired PokerStars through its merger with the Stars Group last year.

Flutter today agreed to pay $200 million (£146 million) to settle the case, alongside $100 million already forfeited as bond. Kentucky has agreed to stop pursuing Flutter in response.

The settlement is much lower than the $1.3 billion Flutter was ordered to pay last December by the Kentucky Supreme Court, following a length legal battle. At the time, Flutter said it was shocked by the outcome given PokerStars only made around $18 million in revenues from Kentucky during the period in question.

Flutter challenged the ruling in the US Supreme Court but pursued a remediated settlement alongside that process.

“The Group strongly believes that this agreement is in the best interests of Flutter shareholders,” the company said today. “The Group now considers the matter closed.”

Analysts at Davy said in a note: “We view this as towards the lower (more favourable) end of potential outcomes. Importantly, it also removes a key stock headwind of recent months.”

Shares in Flutter rose 895p to 16174p. The stock was buoyed by M&A speculation in the broader gambling sector.

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