Update November 8, 2013 9:17am: Head of Corp Communications for Poker Stars has tweeted that they are still under review in New Jersey:
Our application remains under review by NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement & we remain committed to working with them to complete the process
— Eric Hollreiser (@erichollreiser) November 8, 2013
Update November 8, 2013 8:23am: A new article by Wendeen H. Eolis was posted on Poker Player Newspaper and she writes that it is “worth betting the ranch” that Poker Stars will not be granted a New Jersey iGaming license.
Update November 8, 2013 7:33am: It has come to our attention by @AgentMarco that Poker Stars is still under consideration by the DGE. Poker Stars will not be licensed this month but there has been no final decision on their gaming future in New Jersey.
In a stunning turn of events, it now appears that PokerStars will be denied a New Jersey iGaming license. Per a report just posted by Poker Player Newspaper, three “insiders with direct knowledge – on both sides of the pond” have confirmed that PokerStars will not receive a license from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
PokerStars had partnered with Resorts Casino in Atlantic City and was making a push to try and join legalized iGaming in the United States. According to the PPN report, the primary reason behind the rejection stems from concerns from the DGE about the pending criminal case against PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg.
If you remember, Scheinberg was indicted on Black Friday on charges of Money Laundering, Operating an Illegal Gambling Business, and Violations of the UIGEA. PokerStars settled their legal issues with the federal government for $731 million, but the fact that their owner still refuses to turn himself in could cost them a share of the US online gambling market.
This news comes a day after the Atlantic Club filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. PokerStars was supposed to partner with the Atlantic Club, but delays in the licensing process led to a dissolution of the contract. The Atlantic Club’s concerns may have been more legitimate than first believed.
One must wonder if this licensing denial will lead to Scheinberg attempting to settle his legal matter with the US government. As long as he remains “at large,” this is a matter that could continue to be used against PokerStars.