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Evolution’s motion to reveal the entities behind an anonymous 2021 report was denied on 22 April by the New Jersey Superior Court. 

Judge John C. Porto ruled earlier this week that further evidence must be heard in the case before the court can approve Evolution’s request to unveil the sponsors of the anonymous 2021 report. 

This document, which Evolution has called “inaccurate, false, defamatory and methodologically flawed,” accused it of receiving revenue from sanctioned  jurisdictions.

It was published by New Jersey law firm Calcagni & Kanefsky (C&K) on behalf of an unidentified client.  

The firm referred the report to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for investigation. 

The DGE concluded in February that there was “no evidence” Evolution sanctioned, promoted, permitted, or otherwise benefitted from prohibited jurisdictions. 

DGE concludes Evolution investigation

The DGE report, alongside a less expansive decision from the PGCB, led to Evolution filing a motion in March to reveal the entities behind the report.  

These included the report’s authors, the report’s investigators, the unnamed investigative firm that is C&K’s client and anyone else working for the firm.  

While the identity of the client which commissioned the report is unknown, NEXT.io understands many in the industry suspect one of Evolution’s competitors was behind the dossier.  

However, the New Jersey court has now denied Evolution’s request, stating further work needs to be done to establish the veracity of the report.   

Judge Porto wrote: “Although the Plaintiffs believe, based on the recent determinations from the two gaming enforcement officials, that this issue is now ripe, this court finds that limited discovery must continue and be completed.” 

In particular, the court highlighted upcoming depositions by C&K senior counsel Ralph Marra and senior partner Thomas Calcagni as critical to this work.  

C&K’s own attorneys now claim their testimony will “confirm” the truthfulness of the anonymous Report.  

Latest twist in multi-billion dollar suit 

The court decision is just the latest twist in a multi-billion-dollar defamation suit currently making its way through the New Jersey courts.  

The publication of the Calcagni Report saw Evolution lose approximately 36% of market cap, or $10bn, in the subsequent weeks.  

The iGaming supplier also claims it continues to suffer harm as its competitors leverage the report’s statements for competitive advantage.  

As such, Evolution is seeking relief for defamation, fraud, trade libel and tortious interference.  

The discovery request seeking the identities of the report’s sponsors was initially submitted by Evolution in February 2022 in its complaint. 

While the NJ Superior Court opted to grant Evolution’s motion, C&K’s attorneys chose to appeal the ruling.

The Appellate Court decided in January 2023 further work was needed to establish the veracity of the report and remanded the matter back down to the lower court.  

Following this decision, Judge Porto approved a limited discovery request to understand whether the report was based on fact.

This included depositions from C&K attorneys involved in reviewing the report including Ralph Marra and Thomas Calcagni.

The court also ordered several current or former employees of Evolution or its Ezugi subsidiary also be deposed.

Judge Porto also denied yesterday a separate request on behalf of C&K’s attorneys to have deposition be conducted at the Atlantic County Civil Courthouse.

The court previously approved a request to use remote technology for the deposition.

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