PokerStars Bid To Buy US Casino FoiledMay 2, 2013 12:00 pm
PokerStars was hoping to buy a New Jersey casino thus giving it potential access to the state’s fledgling online gambling market. However, the company’s hopes have now been dealt a major blow after the deal expired before an accord could be reached.
PokerStars’ parent company Rational Group had been looking to purchase the beleaguered Atlantic Club Hotel for the knock-down price of $50 million. In terms of revenue, the struggling gambling venue has been ranked near the bottom of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos and has been close to closing on several occasions. However, the casino is now looking to a brighter future in New Jersey on its own and as Atlantic Club Hotel CEO Michael Frawley, explains:
“[The] purchase agreement with PokerStars has been terminated..The advent of New Jersey’s online gaming legislation has changed Atlantic City’s future for the better and The Atlantic Club is absolutely going to be a part of that future.”
Prior to the turnabout, PokerStars had been close to closing the deal and had even reached the completed-application stage. Nevertheless, the American Gaming Association, was putting a lot of pressure on New Jersey not to allow PokerStars to receive a licence.
The powerful lobbying group represents the interest of many prominent casinos across the US and cited the fact that PokerStars was accused of money laundering, bank fraud and illegal gambling in 2011, as a reason not to let it operate in the States. Although The Rational Group admitted no wrongdoing, they did agree to pay $547 million to the US DoJ and a further $184 million to players who were unable to access their Full Tilt poker accounts.
Commenting on the demise of the Atlantic Club Hotel deal, State Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, stated: “The firm’s [PokerStars] way of conducting business threatened to undermine the integrity and public confidence that Atlantic City has worked diligently to build since the enactment of the New Jersey Casino Control Act enacted in 1977. To become involved with a company like this one would have been an insult to everyone who has gone under scrutiny to work or do business in the casino industry over the last 30 years.”