Report: PokerStars Won't Participate in New Jersey iGaming Launch
According to a high-level source with links to the owners of Resorts Casino Hotel, the casino and their partners PokerStars will be the only applicants not to receive a transitional waiver to launch online poker on Nov. 26. The Rational Group, the owners of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, have so far declined to comment on the allegations due to their ongoing application which is still officially under review by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). PokerStars has pledged to spend $10 million building a poker room at Resorts Casino Hotel once the company gains approval.
An earlier story we released quoted the source as highlighting the involvement of Isai Scheinberg in company activities, as a critical consideration in the licencing process. Upon further investigation it's unclear whether or not Mr. Scheinberg's involvement within the company has any correlation to its entrance into the U.S. PokerStars has previously entered in to a written agreement with the DoJ to limit Mr. Scheinberg’s role within the company. He is currently a resident in the Isle of Man, a fact which is well known to the US authorities.
It's clear that the future of PokerStars in the US is uncertain. For the other online operators, a delay in PokerStars’ entry in to the New Jersey arena would be a victory because of the brand’s global momentum. "They always wanted to get a leg up on PokerStars to delay their entry into the market," the source told PokerNews of potential New Jersey competitors. "Apparently they've been successful in that regard."
The DGE is scheduled to update its list of Internet gaming permit holders and approved ancillary companies Wednesday at 3 p.m. EDT prior to the following day's soft launch of online gaming. Casinos already awarded permits are Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Trump Plaza, Trump Taj Majal and Tropicana Casino and Resort. That Resorts will be the only casino not receiving a permit means that Caesars and its casino properties will receive approval tomorrow if the information we have received is accurate.
Online gaming in New Jersey will begin with a soft launch Thursday between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m., continue Friday during those same hours, Saturday from 8 a.m. until midnight, and all day Sunday and Monday. If everything goes well, play will launch in full Tuesday, Nov. 26.