Wednesday, May 27th21.3°C
26379

Buyer of PokerStars online gambling site to start New Jersey licensing talks

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - A Canadian company buying the PokerStars website will begin licensing talks with New Jersey casino regulators aimed at letting the world's largest Internet poker site operate legally in the state, the state's top casino regulator said.

The state Division of Gaming Enforcement will begin the talks Thursday with Amaya Gaming Group, which is buying PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for $4.9 billion, division director David Rebuck told The Associated Press.

Most importantly, the sale involves PokerStars executives charged with fraud and money laundering resigning from the company. That would appear to clear the way for PokerStars to enter the New Jersey market, something it had tried twice to do before the state suspended it for up to two years, citing the unresolved indictments against the executives.

"We've had discussions with Amaya to reactivate the application, and we plan to begin discussions with them tomorrow," Rebuck told the AP on Wednesday. "We'll look at whatever they bring over."

He said he was "encouraged" by the sale and the licensing talks.

"I think in the long run it will be a good story for New Jersey," he said. "I'm optimistic that they know what the rules are, and I fully expect them to be very aggressive because they want to be here."

Internet gambling has hit a wall in New jersey after just six months. The Atlantic City casinos' online operations posted revenue declines for the past two months.

Since the launch, the casinos have won about $61.9 million online, a far cry from the pace some state political leaders expected. Republican Gov. Chris Christie had estimated they would rake in $1 billion in the first year. Many Wall Street analysts have reduced their estimates to the $200 million to $300 million range, but even those may need to be adjusted downward.

The entry of PokerStars could provide a jump-start to the nascent industry in New Jersey.

Amaya, which has already been approved for Internet gambling operations in New Jersey as the platform for Caesars Interactive, is optimistic about its chances for the PokerStars approval, company lawyer Marie Jones said.

"They are optimistic they will get this done quickly," she said.

No documents have been filed, but Jones said she expected a licensing application to be submitted by next week. Rebuck said he could see Amaya getting approval to operate PokerStars in New Jersey by the fall.

PokerStars tried to buy the Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City before that deal fell apart. The casino shut down in January.

PokerStars then partnered with Resorts Casino Hotel, which has been unable to offer Internet gambling while PokerStars was under suspension in New Jersey. A PokerStars spokesman had no immediate comment, and Resorts declined to comment.

The website operated in the U.S. after online gambling was banned in 2006 but exited the U.S. in 2011. It paid a $547 million fine to the Department of Justice but didn't admit wrongdoing.

In a note to investors on Monday, Fitch Ratings called PokerStars' re-entry into the U.S. gambling market "a game-changer."

"The return of the exiled poker giant would inhibit the online poker ambitions of big U.S.- based operators such as Caesars Entertainment, Boyd Gaming and Station Casinos," it wrote. "PokerStars, with its Full Tilt unit acquired in 2012, commanded roughly 70 per cent of the U.S. market until authorities shut the sites down in 2011."

New Jersey is one of three states that legalized Internet gambling, along with Nevada and Delaware. But as many as 10 others are considering or recently have considered joining the online market.

___

Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24947


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15107.80+56.99
S&P CDNX691.19-0.77
DJIA18186.07+144.53
Nasdaq5106.59+73.84
S&P 5002123.48+19.28
CDN Dollar0.8026-0.0016
Gold1187.40-16.90
Oil58.31-0.70
Lumber273.50-2.70
Natural Gas2.825+0.003

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.135-0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.50-0.01
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.402-0.030
Metalex Ventures0.08-0.01
Russel Metals25.51+0.30
Copper Mountain Mining1.27-0.01
Colorado Resources0.11+0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.014+0.006
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.155+0.005
Decisive Dividend Corporation2.10+0.16

 



26361

FEATURED Property
2310977547 - 1088 Sunset Drive
2 bedrooms 2 baths
$419,300
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Cash stressed seniors

Photo: Thinkstock.comFor many Canadian homeowners, their house represents the biggest portion of their net worth. Now, increasing numbers of seniors are starting to recognize the hidden value of their...


Do or do not

Photo: Thinkstock.com“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.” - Kahlil Gibran Good planning is all about managing chan...


Penetrate the smokescreen

Photo: ContributedHas this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of your second or third “good discussion” with a prospect. Everything’s going great. The prospect seems en...

_



25217

26418


Member of BC Press Council


24222