Judge orders online poker company to pay Ky. $870 million

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A state judge has ordered an online poker company to pay Kentucky $870 million for violating the state’s anti-gambling laws.

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled Wednesday the PokerStars website willfully violated Kentucky’s anti-gambling laws between 2006 and 2011, where more than 34,000 people lost $5 or more stemming from more than 246 million bets.

Wingate also ordered Amaya, PokerStars parent company, to pay 12 percent interest each year until all of the money is collected. That would be an additional $104 million a year until the judgment is paid in full.

Amaya’s attorney Sheryl Snyder referred questions to Amaya’s communications department. An email to the company’s press office was not immediately returned.

Lawyers for Amaya indicated at a court hearing last week they would likely appeal a major financial judgment against them.