With a partnership agreement with Resorts Casino Hotel in place, PokerStars has abandoned its efforts to acquire the Atlantic Club.
The world’s top poker site had been enmeshed in legal action in an effort to keep the deal to purchase the Atlantic Club alive. But rulings from two New Jersey courts that permitted the casino owners to wiggle free of the sales contract has PokerStars mucking its desire to pursue the matter further.
What will be pursued is the $11 million that PokerStars paid to the Atlantic Club to keep the casino operating. Another $4 million termination fee is also due as part of the $15 million purchase price. The monetary issues will still be decided by state judges, but the Atlantic Club will likely find a new owner.
PokerStars partnered with Resorts prior to the deadline set by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in order to launch in late November. However, the DGE must still investigate and make a decision on PokerStars’ application to provide online poker software for Resorts.
While the legal mess with Atlantic Club gets untangled in the court room, it will likely have no bearing on the ruling DGE regulators will make regarding PokerStars’ suitability to partner with an existing casino. PokerStars’ withdrew its request for interim casino authorization needed for the Atlantic Club deal and is relying on its application for casino service industry licensing to team up with Resorts, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
While many would like to see PokerStars punished for continuing to operate in the U.S. after the UIGEA was enacted in 2006, New Jersey statutes have no provisions forbidding their inclusion in the state’s online gambling regime. The AGA opposed PokerStars’ purchase of Atlantic Club and will likely oppose their collaboration with Resorts casino as well.
But it may not be enough to keep PokerStars out of the U.S. Remember, they never admitted any wrongdoing in settling the allegations levied by the DoJ from the Black Friday fallout. And with no bad actor language in the regulations signed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Americans may soon be playing on PokerStars software once again.
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