UPDATE 1-Flutter group hit with $870 million Stars Group ruling by Kentucky court

(Adds details from the ruling, company comment)

DUBLIN, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Paddy Power Betfair parent Flutter Entertainment has been hit with an $870 million judgement by the Kentucky Supreme Court, which on Thursday reinstated a ruling against The Stars Group, which merged with Flutter in 2019.

The original award of damages was made in 2015 but was vacated in its entirety by the Kentucky Court of Appeals three years later, Flutter said in a statement.

Flutter said that it had a number of legal options available and that it was “confident that any amount it ultimately becomes liable to pay will be a limited proportion of the reinstated judgement.”

“Flutter is wholly surprised by today’s ruling and strongly disputes the basis of this judgement, which, it believes, runs contrary to the modern US legal precedent,” the company said.

“Flutter’s balance sheet remains robust,” it added.

Flutter announced in late 2019 that it was merging with Nasdaq- and Toronto-listed Stars Group Inc in an all-share deal. ($1 = 0.7344 pounds) (Reporting by Samantha Machado in Bengaluru and Conor Humphries in Dublin; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. And Grant McCool)