PokerStars in “Time Out” in New Jersey

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In case you’re wondering why PokerStarshas not been approved for a license in New Jersey, the reason is that the site is in “time out,” according to internet gambling advocate and State Senator Raymond Lesniak. Yes, PokerStars is in the same state my two-year-old son is in when he throws blocks at the television. The reason PokerStars is off the grid right now in the Garden State: Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, of course.

Lesniak posted on Twitter:

Lesniak was kind enough to answer several follow-up questions to his Tweet and said that the cause of PokerStars being in time out is Adelson: “Christie just giving Adelson time during Congressional lame duck session to kill Egaming.” There are strong rumors that we’ll have a hearing about prohibiting online gambling during the upcoming lame duck session on Capitol Hill in the US. Whether a bill will be passed in some form remains to be seen.

Lesniak was quick to point out that PokerStars’ application has not been formally put on hold, but said his thoughts were based on “37 years of political insight.” This author originally expected PokerStars in New Jersey around October 1. Now, it appears we could be waiting well into 2015.

Despite plenty of gripe from the general public that New Jersey’s internet gambling revenues have been lower than expected, it was recently revealed that Borgata’s online gaming arm turned a profitin the third quarter. Borgata, of course, runs Borgata Poker.

Regarding PokerStars, Borgata officials said during an earnings call that they expect the site to be in the market at some point: “With respect to PokerStars, once again we don’t have any insight or any knowledge. As we built the model to operate online gaming in New Jersey, we just assumed they would be involved at some point in time. So, that’s the ultimate decision by the New Jersey regulators, then that’s it. We’ll be prepared to deal with it.”

At the federal level, Adelson (pictured) is supporting bills by Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would effectively prohibit internet gambling in the US and roll back the Wire Act of 1961. The bill, as presently written, would also wipe out the regulated internet gambling industries in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. According to the Poker Players Alliance, fantasy sports sits like FanDuel would continue to be permitted.

The PPA declined to comment on Lesniak’s Tweets. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news.

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15 COMMENTS

    • Its ok pokerstars sucks anyways to much rake you can’t make any money there anyways and it won’t be coming to New jersey or the United States at all and Sheldon is gonna win in the end he already is…

    • The online sites all failed miserably at politics. They thought they could throw money at groups like the PPA and do none of the groundwork like lobbyists from Exxon have continually perfected. Sheldon Adelson is not the big evil here.

      Every single person itt would do the same thing he has if they were in the same place. The online companies all flouted regulation, taxes, and accountability in the USA. Why should licensed businesses who produce revenue for the US be disadvantaged by illegal operators doing nothing for the country?

      I’m not saying the UIGEA was well thought out or fair. Part of the debacle involves a legislature incompetent and unable to keep up with the internet age. Law in all facets of life has lagged because of dinosaurs like Todd Akin, Harry Reid, and John Ashcroft. The UIGEA certainly didn’t help, but it wasn’t like the sites were beating down Congress’ door until they faced punitive action. They were perfectly happy to keep using illegal processing schemes, ignore all legal precedent, and to listen to the advice of counsel with green tinted glasses.

      Things were going badly well before black Friday. October 2006, when party got stitched up by the DOJ, was the catalyst. (Sure, ePassporte and Firepay got pwned earlier, but that was small time.) That’s when certain sites became unashamedly criminal. Party did the right thing and followed an official directive by the US Government to pull out. Good on them. It’s unfortunate that doing the right thing does not always make the best financial sense. If you evaluate things logically, you will find that Sheldon Adelson can easily be equated to the executives of the online sites who pissed into the wind after Party left.

    • How the hell are fanduel and draftkings legal “contests” and poker (an obv game of skill) not? Ass backwards

    • How the hell are fanduel and draftkings legal “contests” and poker (an obv game of skill) not? Ass backwards

      It’s how the law was written. Duplicate poker was also legal, but nobody cared to play it when Party was available. There have been efforts from Vegas to restrict fantasy sports leagues.

      It’s not about the morality of gambling in the US, it is about protectionism. Morality is only an argument to entice an unfortunately large contingent of politicians who base their life decisions on a translation of a mis-translation of an old fairy tale. Compare the King James Version of the bible to other translations and then you can start to comprehend the thought process of protestant America and why it became the place it did. It’s actually a pretty good read if you are into linguistics.

      Crazedzach. Your comments are valid. Have fun tonight firing up a tourny on POKERSTARS. Screw Sheldon.

      Ha. That’s not going to happen. 🙂 http://www.pocketfives.com/f10017/pokerstars-uk-locked-my-account-bug-annoyances-after-conversion-697708/#post7978526

    • The old fuck Adelson is just another hypocritical Republican who claims to care about people but yet within the same breath giddily advocates for the nuking of Iran: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/10/23/adelson-obama-should-fire-nuke-to-send-message-to-iran/

      Do the world a favor you old hypocritical religious extremist fuck: please die tonight in your sleep.

    • Every single person itt would do the same thing he has if they were in the same place.

      No.

      The online companies all flouted regulation, taxes, and accountability in the USA. Why should licensed businesses who produce revenue for the US be disadvantaged by illegal operators doing nothing for the country?

      What does that even mean? You can’t flout regulations that didn’t exist and foreign companies operating in foreign countries aren’t liable for US taxes even if they sell those services to Americans. Disadvantaged? You mean why should brick & mortar casinos compete fairly in a free market as opposed to supporting a regulatory scheme that favors them to the consumer’s detriment?

      They were perfectly happy to keep using illegal processing schemes, ignore all legal precedent, and to listen to the advice of counsel with green tinted glasses.

      Actually according to the current DoJ interpretation of the Wire Act, they did nothing illegal. And there was no legal precedent for online gaming that they could ignore.

      If you evaluate things logically, you will find that Sheldon Adelson can easily be equated to the executives of the online sites who pissed into the wind after Party left.

      No. But you could equate him to executives of Hollywood that tried to fight the VCR or taxi cab unions trying to fight the emergence of companies like Uber and Lyft.

    • No.

      What does that even mean? You can’t flout regulations that didn’t exist and foreign companies operating in foreign countries aren’t liable for US taxes even if they sell those services to Americans. Disadvantaged? You mean why should brick & mortar casinos compete fairly in a free market as opposed to supporting a regulatory scheme that favors them to the consumer’s detriment?

      Actually according to the current DoJ interpretation of the Wire Act, they did nothing illegal. And there was no legal precedent for online gaming that they could ignore.

      I think you could do with reading my opinion again, because your argument makes absolutely no sense. I can understand where you are coming from, but you are missing the facts.

      Firstly, the Wire Act was not ever used by the DOJ to enforce jurisdiction over online poker. Precedent for the Wire Act clearly indicates the poker sites were all in contravention of the law in 2006. This is a red herring though because there was too great of a risk in taking it to court and putting it under the microscope which might have had unintended consequences for the government. It simply was ignored for the purposes of poker save a few early cease and desist letters to payment processors which almost certainly were used primarily for sports betting then.

      You failed to acknowledge the passage of the UIGEA which is absolutely unambiguous when it comes to payment processing. There is no argument to say what the poker sites did was illegal. I can see a narrow argument for actually playing poker online without depositing using an existing bankroll as a compliant, but there’s no way after 2006 depositing anything was legal. FTP’s very public exposure pretty much showed how illegal things became.

      In conjunction with the efforts of the Federal Government, many state governments have shown that poker sites operating within their borders constitute a violation of long existing laws regulating or prohibiting gambling businesses. The USA has some of the most severe legislation on gambling in the world. It’s is practically illegal to do almost anything gambling related anywhere without paying dearly for the right or exemption to operate.

    • You failed to acknowledge the passage of the UIGEA which is absolutely unambiguous when it comes to payment processing. There is no argument to say what the poker sites did was illegal. I can see a narrow argument for actually playing poker online without depositing using an existing bankroll as a compliant, but there’s no way after 2006 depositing anything was legal. FTP’s very public exposure pretty much showed how illegal things became.

      In conjunction with the efforts of the Federal Government, many state governments have shown that poker sites operating within their borders constitute a violation of long existing laws regulating or prohibiting gambling businesses. The USA has some of the most severe legislation on gambling in the world. It’s is practically illegal to do almost anything gambling related anywhere without paying dearly for the right or exemption to operate.

      Apparently you are clueless when it comes to the UIGEA. It stated that an activity already had to be illegal in order for the funding by banks to be illegal. In other words, if the Wire Act didn’t make online gambling illegal then the UIGEA did not make funding sites that provide those activities illegal. Also, no poker sites were operating within state borders. They operated in other countries and people “traveled” there electronically to do their gambling. All of the generating of cards, and betting took place on servers that weren’t located anywhere in the US. To claim they were operating in the US is akin to claiming that a TV station out of Toronto is operating in Buffalo just because people can access the content with a strong enough antenna.