Talks Between PokerStars, New Jersey DGE to Resume Thursday

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According to the Associated Press, talks between Amaya Gaming, which announced one week ago that it plans to acquire the parent company PokerStarsand Full Tilt, and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement will begin on Thursday. The focus: getting PokerStars licensed in the Garden State, a process that wound up in a dead end last December.

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Amaya purchased the Rational Group, the parent company of Stars and Tilt, for $4.9 billion last week, making Amaya the largest publicly held internet gambling firm on the planet.

You’ll recall that last December, New Jersey gaming officials suspended their review of PokerStars’ licensing application for two yearsdue primarily to “the unresolved Federal indictment against Isai Scheinberg for the alleged violation of Federal gambling statutes… and the involvement of certain PokerStars executives with internet gaming operations in the United States following the enactment of the UIGEA.”

Isai Scheinberg, his son and CEO Mark Scheinberg, and various Rational Group Board members will vacate their positions as part of the company’s sale to Amaya, and the deal is scheduled to close in September. However, the “executive management” teams of PokerStars and Full Tilt will remain intact.

New Jersey DGE Director David Rebuck (pictured) told the Associated Press, “We’ve had discussions with Amaya to reactivate the application and we plan to begin discussions with them [on Thursday]… We’ll look at whatever they bring over… I think in the long-run it will be a good story for New Jersey. 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.”

A spokesperson for Amaya told the Associated Press, “They are optimistic they will get this done quickly,” with the AP alluding to the “fall” as its timeline for approval. Last July, PokerStars partnered with Resorts Atlantic City to offer online gambling in New Jersey, although whether the partnership will hold post-sale remains to be seen.

Amaya currently works with sites like Ultimate Poker and CaesarsCasino.com in New Jersey, providing casino games.

In its statement explaining its decision to suspend the review of PokerStars’ application, DGE officials noted that “significantly changed circumstances” could result in the application once again being considered. One of the largest gambling-related sales ever and the departure of key owners could likely constitute such a circumstance.

Visit PocketFives’ New Jersey poker community for the latest on this still-developing story.

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15 COMMENTS

    • Hi , just an interested observer , Its great that pokerstars is doing something constructive to get into the united states market again but im a little curious as to what this statement actually means here., :

      ” You’ll recall that last December, New Jersey gaming officials suspended their review of PokerStars’ licensing application for two years due primarily to “the unresolved Federal indictment against Isai Scheinberg for the alleged violation of Federal gambling statutes… and the involvement of certain PokerStars executives with internet gaming operations in the United States following the enactment of the UIGEA “

      The part I DONT GET, is where it says ” “the unresolved Federal indictment against Isai Scheinberg for the alleged violation of Federal gambling statutes… and the involvement of certain PokerStars executives.”

      Can someone clarify what the executives are supposed to have done ? or news of alleged said violations please?

    • who cares even if they get in new jersey won’t be able to row play and there not gonna get in other states cause of bad actor clause so it doesn’t even matter you will just be playing against 400 people like the rest of the sites in jersey…

    • who cares even if they get in new jersey won’t be able to row play and there not gonna get in other states cause of bad actor clause so it doesn’t even matter you will just be playing against 400 people like the rest of the sites in jersey…

      Not so fast. New Jersey Gov. Lesniak has already thrown it out there that international pools could come rather quickly once Stars ever gets a license. It has already been talked about and strongly considered as it should. One step at a time, it will happen.

    • well if that does happend bigbond new jersey better start building houses and apartments they will be more populated than cali lol…

    • Not so fast. New Jersey Gov. Lesniak has already thrown it out there that international pools could come rather quickly once Stars ever gets a license. It has already been talked about and strongly considered as it should. One step at a time, it will happen.

      It seems as if the NJ Legislature has been working behind the scenes for the past year laying the groundwork for ROW player pools (NJ w/ROW outside of the U.S.). I guess one way of verifying this possibility is to see as to whether or not NJ has applied with the Isle of Man and other various European Gaming authorities to offer iGaming in Europe and for Europe to offer iGames in NJ. I believe European gaming companies can already set up shop in NJ in order for European players to play against European players. A genuine iGaming insider should be able to get this info quite easily.

    • It seems as if the NJ Legislature has been working behind the scenes for the past year laying the groundwork for ROW player pools (NJ w/ROW outside of the U.S.). I guess one way of verifying this possibility is to see as to whether or not NJ has applied with the Isle of Man and other various European Gaming authorities to offer iGaming in Europe and for Europe to offer iGames in NJ. I believe European gaming companies can already set up shop in NJ in order for European players to play against European players. A genuine iGaming insider should be able to get this info quite easily.

      That’s a good post right there/

      I believe they could climatize the usa market again, so long as each governmental controlled state lifts its regulation barriers and gives people the freedom of choice , Isnt that what America was built on the freedom of choice?

      I understand countries want to tax the whole situation re online gambling ,of course its understandable to want a percentage of anything these days .I sternly believe though that given the current way it is I think we need to get the usa players playing again .The only way they do this is if pokerstars it seems is operated and controlled by new owners, I think that’s right?

    • who cares even if they get in new jersey won’t be able to row play and there not gonna get in other states cause of bad actor clause so it doesn’t even matter you will just be playing against 400 people like the rest of the sites in jersey…

      Stars presence could grow the entire New Jersey market. Or, if non-US player pools are eventually included, the “400 people” could become several thousand, all else equal.

    • Stars presence could grow the entire New Jersey market. Or, if non-US player pools are eventually included, the “400 people” could become several thousand, all else equal.

      I believe even when Stars does start out in NJ as a Jersey only thing, they will obviously have a bigger player base than the rest. That seems like a certainty in my eyes. Would be shocked if that wasn’t so.