The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced that the Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars, has completed its application for a gaming license in the state. This is the first step towards Rational Group eventually taking ownership of Atlantic Club, the only Atlantic City casino to post positive year over year gaming results in March.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement now has 90 days to investigate Rational Group. A hearing must then be schedule to determine whether Rational Group will receive an interim license. It must also be determined if the American Gaming Association will be allowed to participate in the licensing hearing. The group has publicly opposed Rational Group’s licensing application on the grounds that they operated illegally in the US, even though Rational Group did not admit any wrongdoing in their settlement with the Department of Justice.
Caesars Entertainment to Apply for New Jersey Interactive License
As expected, Caesars Entertainment has announced that they will apply for an interactive gaming license in New Jersey. Caesars Entertainment is the largest operator in Atlantic City. The company owns four properties in the nation’s second largest gaming market. Those casinos are Caesars, Bally’s, Harrah’s and Showboat. There have been rumors that the count could go down to three as Showboat may be for sale. Penn National Gaming has reportedly been interested in the property. Caesars Entertainment is $26 billion in debt and the company appears to be in the market to sell some their holdings.
Caesars Entertainment is familiar with interactive gaming licensing. Caesars Entertainment received licensing approval in Nevada on December 20, 2012 after a process that lasted nearly one year. The group also holds a license in the United Kingdom where they offer online poker to UK residents on the 888 Network.
When asked about the license application, Caesars Interactive spokesman Seth Palansky told the Press of Atlantic City:
It’s the first of I’m sure many hurdles to cross.
New Jersey expects to have online gambling live before the end of the year. The state already placed revenue from the gambling expansion in their 2014 fiscal year budget. The 2014 fiscal year begins on July 1, 2013.