PokerStars to learn Atlantic City casino fate within 90 days

Outside of AC Casino Club Hotel

Rational Group Holdings US, the parent company of online poker giant PokerStars, has completed its application to acquire the Atlantic City Club Casino Hotel. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has 90 days to review the application and make a decision on PokerStars immediate Atlantic City casino fate.

Sportsbook Review.com reported that the American Gaming Association (AGA), the main lobbying voice and protector of the interests of US casino operators, had lodged a complaint seeking to stop PokerStars from even being allowed to apply for the right to conduct business in Atlantic City.

The AGA's motives are fairly transparent: Existing casino operators upset with years of declining revenue and the amount of business lost to online poker sites such as PokerStars is unwilling to embrace the idea of a new kid on the block. The AGA decided to attack PokerStars on the grounds that they continually violated federal law in serving Americans following the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. PokerStars however settled with the US DOJ after the Black Friday online poker crackdown, having to pay over a half-billion dollars and ultimately admitting no wrongdoing for their flouting of US law.

Right now, we are not a profitable casino. With PokerStars and Internet gaming and the capital investment it is prepared to make in the property we expect to be more than profitable. -AC Club COO Michael Frawley

PokerStars plans to invest $20 million in their first year at the helm of the Atlantic City Club Casino Hotel, according to the hotel's Chief Operating Officer Michael Frawley. "Right now, we are not a profitable casino. With PokerStars and Internet gaming and the capital investment it is prepared to make in the property we expect to be more than profitable.”

Frawley was referring to NJ Governor Christie legalizing internet gambling in Atlantic City. Under the new law, players physically present in the state will be able to partake in internet games offered by licensed casinos, including online poker — an area PokerStars is the best of the best.

SBR will update this report following the decision by DGE on PokerStars application.

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