Resorts owner confirms PokerStars is near to US return

By David Cook
Resorts Casino Hotel owner Morris Bailey has revealed that operator PokerStars is edging closer to being licensed to operate in the New Jersey market.

Bailey was speaking at a press event announcing the opening of an online gaming lounge at the casino, and said that the process of gaining approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) “is coming to its conclusion”.

He said: “When PokerStars is approved, we will be building a world-class poker room and they will bring many of their worldwide tournaments to Atlantic City.”

David Baazov, CEO of provider Amaya Gaming Group, the parent company of Stars, confirmed last month that Amaya expects Stars to re-enter the US market in the third quarter of this year.

Stars’ US operations were shut down by the US federal government in 2011 and agreed to pay $731m to settle the government’s civil charges against it.

A potential return to the US market for Stars came to light in 2013, when its partnership with Resorts began, but the DGE decided to hold the application in a suspended status for two years unless circumstances “significantly changed”, as Stars founder Isai Scheinberg was facing a federal indictment for allegedly violating the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

The process resumed when Amaya purchased Stars’ previous owners Oldford Group for $4.9bn in August and filed a petition with the DGE for a transactional waiver to conduct online gambling operations.


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