• Home
  • News
  • Casino
  • Evolution accuser could be unmasked in major US court case
igamingnext photo
The unknown entities behind an attempted takedown of Evolution could potentially be exposed as a multi-billion dollar lawsuit approaches a critical juncture. 

In November 2021, an anonymous report allegedly commissioned by an unnamed competitor was released that accused Evolution of being active in prohibited jurisdictions.

Evolution strongly denied the allegations. It argued the report was “inaccurate, false, defamatory and methodologically flawed.”

Evolution lost approximately 36% of its market cap, or around $10bn, in the aftermath of the document’s publication, with shareholders spooked by its contents.

Calcagni & Kanefsky, (CK) the US law firm representing the creators of the anonymous report, submitted the report to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE). 

Evolution subsequently sued CK and the entity responsible for the creation of the anonymous report, as well as the still-to-be identified competitor which commissioned the report, for defamation in the Superior Court of New Jersey. 

The live dealer giant claimed the report was commissioned to sabotage its business, and therefore requested the court order that the identity of the law firm’s client be revealed. 

NEXT.io understands Evolution is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees from the law firm, as well as the law firm’s anonymous client, and the competitor that commissioned the report.

Due to Evolution’s status as one of the largest gaming businesses in the world, damages could stretch into the billions, and may even be in excess of the defendants’ ability to pay. 

Evolution was successful in defeating the law firm’s initial challenge to the lawsuit, which resulted in the court ordering the disclosure of the identity of the CK client.

But CK appealed to the Appellate Court against the order requiring the law firm to identify their client.  

The Appellate Court, in January 2023, referred the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

The court opined that the referral was required in order for the court to balance Evolution’s right to pursue its claims for business defamation against CK’s right to shield the identity of its client.

The Appellate Court also commented that the NJDGE investigation, which had not concluded by January 2023, may yield “sufficient enlightenment about the report’s veracity.” 

The court further noted that the trial court may find it appropriate to wait for the results from the NJDGE investigation before making its decision on the disclosure of the identity of CK’s clients.

As a result, the case is back in the hands of the lower court. 

Last month, however, the NJDGE concluded its investigation of Evolution prompted by the content of the anonymous report. 

The DGE found “no evidence that Evolution sanctioned, promoted, permitted, or otherwise materially benefitted from its content offered by operators in any market that the NJDGE considers a prohibited jurisdiction.” 

NEXT.io has obtained a copy of the letter sent by the NJDGE that confirmed the closing of its investigation into Evolution. 

“We were pleased to receive the note from the NJDGE,” Evolution CEO Martin Carlesund told NEXT.io. “Our focus is always to continue to improve our offering every day and create value for our operators”

Will the NJDGE decision tip the case in Evolution’s favour?

The extent to which the result of the NJDGE investigation will ultimately influence the outcome of the case currently before the trial court is unknown.

The case continues, with Evolution hopeful that being cleared by a major US gaming regulator such as the NJDGE should carry weight with the court.

The case has been running now for more than two years, with hundreds of pages of documents submitted by both parties.

Similar posts