The state of New Jersey considers online casinos as legal, only if any of the land-based casinos located within NJ State operates the Internet-based casino games, including online poker. Rational Group, PokerStars’ parent company, is intent on acquiring Atlantic Club Casino Hotel as a way to establish a brick and mortar casino business in New Jersey.
However, PokerStars’ bid to purchase the financially distressed Atlantic Club Casino Hotel still hangs on a balance. The online gambling site’s applications for licenses to operate as both land-based and online casino operator via The Atlantic Club in Atlantic City still have to undergo deliberations, in a procedural license hearing conducted by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Casino Control Commission (NJ-DGECCC).
Earlier this week, the American Gambling Association (AGA), which strongly opposes PokerStars’ entry in New Jersey’s gambling scene, put forward a request to intervene in the license hearing; albeit unlikely, since PokerStars’ application for a license to operate in New Jersey does not directly affect AGA. The gambling association’s objection over the approval of PokerStars’ license, stems from the online gambling company’s deliberate violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), a cyberspace anti-gambling law implemented in 2009.
The related 2011 indictment ended in a settlement agreement to which PokerStars agreed to forfeit $547 million in favor of the U.S. government, and pay an estimated $184 million to foreign players, in behalf of its subsidiary online poker site.