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New Jersey Says No Way To PokerStars

Added: Dec. 23, 2013

Ouch! That smarts and leaves one wannabe online casino in New Jersey in an uncomfortable position.

Here is the latest drama in the New Jersey online casino world. As you probably know, PokerStars is widely acknowledged as the largest online poker cardroom in the world. They have been involved in real money wagering since way back in 2001. Since then, the company has grown into a giant in the online casino world.

PokerStars recently launched a plan to set up to obtain an online gambling license in the state of New Jersey. Remember that New Jersey gambling law requires online casinos to have a tie-in to an existing land based casino within the state’s borders. In order to establish the required relationship with an existing New Jersey land-based casino, PokerStars had setup a partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel.

The interesting thing is the Resorts Casino had already been issued a license. Unfortunately, Resorts Casino now finds itself in the awkward position of not having a company to operate an online casino. Ooops, bet they didn’t see that one coming. For the moment at least, Resorts Casino is standing by Resorts Casino and is hopeful the issue can be resolved soon. The president of Resorts Casino, Mark Giannantonio was quoted as saying “…while we are disappointed that PokerStars was not issued a license, we are hopeful they can resolve their issues with the New Jersey Department of Gambling Enforcement”.

What is the issue that brought the hammer down on PokerStars? It turns out that there are ongoing legal skirmishes between the federal government and Isai Scheinberg. The federal government alleges that Scheinberg violated federal gambling statues, specifically the Illegal Gambling Business Act along with the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act. Not only that, other executives from PokerStars are also alleged to have violated these statues.

On the other side of the table, if you will, PokerStars has been noncommittal on their plans to address this issue. The most that PokerStars spokesmen were offering was a statement that they will remain in open dialog with the Department of Gambling Enforcement and update them on any changes in our situation as they occur.

Huh? What does that mean? Are there going to be changes in the C-suite at Pokerstars? Or will Resorts Casino suddenly find themselves scrambling to find themselves to find a company to operate their online casino? Stay tuned for more as this hand plays out.