PokerStars had last year declared plans to buy Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey in an attempt to use that casino as a platform to open its online poker site within the state. But it is now learnt that the deal between PokerStars and Colony Capital LLC, the investment firm that owns the casino has expired because the former has failed to obtain an interim casino license from the state of New Jersey gambling regulators.
If PokerStars had managed to get the interim casino license till last Friday, it would have meant a giant step for the online poker room towards extending regulated online poker within New Jersey. According to a gambling law within the state, only operators of Atlantic City casinos can own and function online gambling sites. But the New Jersey gambling regulators have now said that they will take till August to take a decision on whether to let PokerStars do the same or no. This decision puts the physical casino acquisition deal also on hold.
PokerStars opening regulated online poker rooms within NJ would have meant a huge step forward since Ultimate Poker has already become the first to open in Nevada. This casino purchase was mandatory to PokerStars re-entry into the USA online poker market but the move is being opposed by many as illegal.
Ever since New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware declared plans to open up to regulated online gambling, Pokerstars and many other online poker rooms have been pushing to get licensed entry. While Ultimate Poker has become the first to deal legit poker cards in the online scenario in Nevada, it waits to be seen whether Pokerstars, the biggest online poker room across the world is also able to do so soon.