PPA Issues Statement to Kentucky Judge Thomas Wingate

Last week, Thomas Wingate, the Franklin County Circuit Court Judge of Kentucky, ruled that PokerStars was to pay triple the damages sought in the 2010 lawsuit. Amaya Gaming, the owner of PokerStars currently, is not happy with the ruling and neither is the Poker Players Alliance.

The lawsuit has dragged on for five years now, with the PPA claiming the state is trying to take advantage of an age old law to be paid by the online poker company. The statute of the case, a 182 year old law, would pay the state millions, with citizens receiving nothing. The PPA feels the money should go to the players rather than the government, just seeking a payday.

In the statement, John Pappas, the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, stated:

PPA Statement

The PPA became involved in the case as an effort to see the citizens of Kentucky earn the money rather than the government.

Pappas continued by stating that the citizens of Kentucky and poker players are very disappointed in the ruling by Judge Wingate. The ruling by Wingate was made prior to allowing the PPA to intervene on behalf of the players, which the PPA are also not happy with. Pappas stated he believes that the PPA should be able to continue to add to the case for any damages collected that they go towards the citizens involved. Pappas says that failure to do so would be a demonstration of big-government money grabbing that is aimed to enrich the connected trial lawyers and bailing out the politicians who are big spenders.

In his statement, Pappas continued to reiterate his point that the money was lost by the taxpayers of Kentucky who took part in online poker gaming via PokerStars against other tax paying players of the state. It is the people who should benefit from such payment and not the politicians and trial lawyers involved in the case.

Concern was expressed by Pappas in regards to Governor Matt Bevin, a newly-elected official who has on-the-record statements appearing to agree with the ruling by Wingate. Pappas points out that Bevin ran his campaign on a platform that consisted of empowering hardworking taxpayers and reducing the confiscatory government policies. Pappas believes that the governor should be on the side of the player if he truly believes in supporting taxpayers of the state.

The Poker Players Alliance is now urging the governor to look again at the case and consider a position of common sense. The position should be that the only beneficiary of the policy should be the players who actually took part in PokerStars gaming and lost. By allowing the state to seize the money based on an ancient statute is legally and morally wrong, according to Pappas.

The case has lasted for several years and the ruling does have the poker community up in arms. As Pappas says, it does seem that the common sense ruling in this case, if any money were to be awarded, it would go to the players. The government did not lose any money as the players took part in the online poker gaming. However, with the most recent ruling, they do stand to profit a pretty penny if the ruling stands. It will be interesting to see if any changes occur or if PokerStars will have to pay up according to the ruling. Amaya Gaming has stated they would seek payment from the former owners if all other avenues fail.