Evolution Accuser Still a Mystery in ‘Black Market’ Defamation Case

Online gaming software giant Evolution AB will have to wait to discover the identity of the author of a report that it claims was defamatory and wiped $3 billion off its market cap.

Evolution AB, Calcagni & Kanefsky, New Jersey Superior Court, Bet365
Judge John C Porto, above, has determined that the veracity of the Evolution report – or lack thereof — must be better established before its author can be revealed. (Image: POAC)

Evolution is suing the unknown entity for libel, along with the unknown investigative firm that compiled the report, and Calcagni & Kanefsky (C&K). That’s the New Jersey law firm that forwarded the report to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) on behalf of its anonymous client in November 2021.

The document claimed that Evolution was providing games to operators that did business in unregulated markets, including “banned terror states like Iran, Syria, and Sudan.”

Evolution denies the accusations, which caused the Swedish company’s shares to plummet 36% when the story broke. 

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

A separate probe by gaming regulators in Pennsylvania reached a similar conclusion.

Mystery Defendant

A New Jersey Superior Court Judge determined this week that more work needed to be done to establish whether there was any truth in the allegations contained in the report before Evolution could find out exactly who it was suing.

That’s because of the need to balance an attorney’s obligation to avoid revealing a client’s identity against a plaintiff’s right to get the information needed to pursue civil action.

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,” wrote Judge John C. Porto in documents seen by Next.io.

This discovery includes the forthcoming depositions of C&K’s senior counsel Ralph Marra and senior partner Thomas Calcagni, which the legal firm’s attorneys claim will prove the report to be accurate.

Bet365 Report Also Exists

Casino.org has information that the report was commissioned by a US-based gambling operator whose motivation was to level the playing field in the US online casino markets. The implication was that Evolution had gained an unfair advantage through engaging in the business practices alleged in the report.

The anonymous entity also commissioned a separate report that sought to similarly discredit Bet365, which was being prepared for release to the media and which Casino.org has viewed.

The operator appeared to abandon this course of action when the Evolution case blew up.

The post Evolution Accuser Still a Mystery in ‘Black Market’ Defamation Case appeared first on Casino.org.

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