The ongoing questions surrounding PokerStars and whether the company will successfully enter the New Jersey gambling market continue to top the news within Atlantic City. The world’s largest online poker room plans to purchase the Atlantic Club casino, but the bid was challenged by local gaming groups.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) imposed a deadline upon the ongoing debate, which will determine if PokerStars goes all in or folds on a New Jersey casino. The DGE announced that as of April 10, PokerStars provided the required information to officially validate its intentions. The DGE now says regulators will have 90 days to review the application, and submit any misgivings with PokerStars to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. The Commission may then hold a hearing within the next 30 days if it considers a legal review appropriate.
The owners of PokerStars announced their intentions to purchase an Atlantic City casino earlier this year while New Jersey was still considering its online gambling legislation. Governor Chris Christie signed the bill into law at the end of February, which allowed gambling firms to launch legalized online casinos provided the servers were housed within an Atlantic City gaming centre. Christie is optimistic that the online gambling laws will provide financial support for the ailing Atlantic City casinos, and PokerStars submitted its casino purchase bid to the DGE to capitalize on the newly regulated market.
The bid was challenged by US based gambling firms, represented in part by the American Gaming Association (AGA). The AGA asked the DGE to reject PokerStars application due to the company’s role in the Black Friday poker scandal in 2011. PokerStars defended its right to submit a purchase bid, and the DGE agreed to let the process play out.
A final decision on the PokerStars purchase bid is expected to be announced by August, but the AGA vowed to continue its challenge if New Jersey regulators approve the application.