After losing its bid to purchase the Atlantic Club casino in New Jersey, PokerStars reassured supporters the company was committed to joining the newly legalized online gambling industry in New Jersey. The online gambling law requires all potential operators to partner with an Atlantic City casino, which will house the internet betting site servers and receive a fair share of the online gambling revenues.
PokerStars found a new potential partner to enter the New Jersey industry through the Resorts Casino Hotel, the oldest and one of the most successful casinos in Atlantic City. While details of the agreement have yet to be revealed, PokerStars is expected to become a part-owner of the Resorts.
Mark Scheinberg, CEO of the Rational Group which owns PokerStars, is excited about partnering the world’s largest online poker room with Atlantic City’s first grandiose casino.
“We are very happy to invest in New Jersey and we are excited about building a successful relationship with Resorts.”
The agreement with Resorts comes only days after the door was closed on PokerStars’ bid to purchase the Atlantic Club casino. PokerStars submitted a bid to purchase the near bankrupt Atlantic Club casino earlier this year, which it intended to use as a launch point to enter the online gambling industry. The company invested $11 million into the casino, with an additional $4 million on reserve to pay for renovations.
However, the Atlantic Club wished to find a better deal with another partner, and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement sided with the casino when the case went to court. The two sides are now ironing out whether PokerStars owes the outstanding $4 million as a termination fee, or if the transaction is now cancelled altogether.
The agreement with Resorts must also be approved by the New Jersey regulators, who remain wary of supporting PokerStars given the company’s central role in the Black Friday poker scandal two years ago. Nevertheless, Resorts majority owner and Chairman Morris Bailey is excited about the pending partnership with PokerStars, who will undoubtedly lobby regulators to approve the new agreement.