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PokerStars Files Letter Seeking to Block AGA Interference

PokerStars Files Letter Seeking to Block AGA Interference 0001

On Monday, March 5, the American Gaming Association (AGA) filed a brief with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Casino Control Commission opposing the PokerStars’ intention to purchase The Atlantic Club in Atlantic City. Now, the Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars, has responded with a letter of its own to the DGE asking it to reject the AGA’s brief.

According to John Brennan of, the 15-page letter asks the DGE to reject “AGA’s thinly-veiled anticompetitive campaign against the entry of a competitor into the market.” Brennan also revealed that there were three major points in the letter:

  • “The AGA lacks a ‘significant interest in the outcome’ of these proceedings”
  • “The AGA’s participation is not ‘likely to add constructively to their case’”
  • “To permit the AGA to participate in this matter would be destructively anticompetitive, and would do a disservice to the people of New Jersey.”

“Rational recognizes that New Jersey’s licensing statutes and regulations set the highest standards in the industry and are models for other jurisdictions,” attorneys Jeff Ifrah and David Deitch said in the letter. They added that a decision regarding the purchase could be made “without the unsolicited assistance of a self-appointed group of Rational’s competitors,” and that the “AGA has no [such] firsthand knowledge... The AGA’s sole interest here is economic warfare.”

The letter also suggests that the AGA’s brief will cause unjust delays: “Every piece of information that the AGA seeks to present comes from publicly available sources, and nearly all of it has been widely disseminated in both the traditional media and over the internet... The Division is no doubt aware of these facts, and hence the AGA’s participation would be virtually valueless.”

Interestingly, the letter also touched upon Caesars’ apparent Feb. 8 attempt to do business by selling PokerStars the Rio Casino in Las Vegas: “At that time, Caesars suggested that this acquisition would give Pokerstars a better relationship with Caesars and would help PokerStars gain a license in Nevada.” PokerStars declined.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission is set to meet on Wednesday to determine whether of not they will allow the AGA to participate in the license hearing for PokerStars, which isn’t expected to happen for several weeks.

To learn more check out John Brennan’s blog on

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