While PokerStars entered into a deal with card rooms and the Morongo tribe in California last week, a NJ partner still hopes to effectuate a prior agreement.
All eyes as of late have been on PokerStars’ recent agreement to offer online poker in the Golden State with the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Commerce Club, Bicycle Casino, and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. That alliance was finalized and made public last Wednesday right in the middle of an online poker hearing before the Governmental Organization Committee of the California State Assembly.
However, the Resorts Casino Hotel in New Jersey partnered with PokerStars before that state’s online gambling regime launched in November only to find that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) suspended review of the online poker giant’s license application for a two-year period. That suspension was the result of PokerStars’ founder Isai Scheinberg’s failure to answer to Black Friday charges lodged against him by federal prosecutors.
While only some four months have passed since the suspension order was handed down by the DGE, the Resorts Casino has not given up on entering the online poker market in New Jersey hand-in-hand with PokerStars.
They [PokerStars] are our partner, and we’re waiting for them to be licensed, Resorts Casino CEO Mark Giannantonio told the Press of Atlantic City.
New Jersey gaming regulators issued an online gambling permit to Resorts, but the casino has yet to launch any gaming sites. It remains one of four Atlantic City casinos watching from the rail while seven others are busily accepting wagers online. The Showboat, Revel and Harrah’s are the other three not involved with online poker and gambling in New Jersey.
The Revel is reportedly up for sale, while both Harrah’s and Showboat belong to Caesars Entertainment, who is using its online gaming license opportunities through two of its other Atlantic City casinos, Bally’s and Caesars.
Although the terms of the agreement between Resorts and PokerStars have not been made public, the casino could have possibly looked for another online gaming partner upon the suspension of PokerStars’ license review by the DGE in December. However, indications are that Resorts remains confident that PokerStars will one day receive rubber-stamped approval from the DGE.
If you’ll recall, the previous owners of the now shuttered Atlantic Club Casino did not share that same confidence and pulled out of a deal for PokerStars to acquire that casino roughly one year ago. But that decision did not turn out well for the Atlantic Club, who later went on the auction block via bankruptcy proceedings and closed in January after being bought and stripped for parts by Caesars and Tropicana.
PokerStars doggedly continues to get its foot in the door of the U.S. online poker market. Although most are now watching the goings-on in California and the agreement with the card clubs and Morongo tribe that is likely to hinder Internet poker legislative progress in that state, don’t rule out an entrance by PokerStars in the New Jersey market some day. The Resorts Casino has not forgotten and is, in fact, counting on it.