While New Jersey poker plans have been reveling in their new found freedom, there has been a setback for players with the news that PokerStars have had their review process suspended for a period of two years. Given the size and scope of PokerStars, a number of players were looking forward to this company setting up in the state.
There are a number of US poker sites for real money but few lack the size, strength and gravitas of PokerStars. Their appearance in the US market would have indicated just how strong the market was again and could have led the way for other firms to make their appearance in the USA.
The state of New Jersey released a statement saying;
“The Division of Gaming Enforcement has determined that the application of the PokerStars casino service industry licensure will be held in a suspended status for a period of two years. “The Division, within that period, may consider a request for relief to reactivate the application if significantly changed circumstances are demonstrated at which time the Division’s investigation of PokerStars and its affiliated entities and associated individuals will be resumed to assess suitability.”
A further statement was issued by the Regulators in New Jersey saying;
“The Division’s determination is based primarily on the unresolved federal indictment against Isai Scheinberg for the alleged violation of federal gambling statutes, namely, the Illegal Gambling Business Act and [UIGEA], and the involvement of certain PokerStars executives with Internet gaming operations in the United States following the enactment of UIGEA.”
PokerStars suffered badly with Black Friday
It would be fair to say that PokerStars were one of the big names that Black Friday set out to attack. In the summer of 2012, PokerStars, while admitting no wrongdoing, paid more than $730million to the US Government. The company managed to obtain Full Tilt Poker in the deal but they were told that if they wanted to come back into the US poker market, they would have to do so in a jurisdiction where there was an opportunity to gain an online licence and they were granted to do so.
PokerStars released a statement saying;
“We are disappointed that the N.J. Division of Gaming Enforcement has suspended the review of our application at this time. We note that the DGE will resume the review of our application if our circumstances change. We will remain in open dialogue with the DGE and will update them on changes in our situation as they occur.”
This is definitely a blow to PokerStars but they are probably one of the online poker companies who will be able to carry on regardless after such an outcome. As the biggest poker site in the world, it is not as if they are struggling for players and just because New Jersey has knocked them back doesn’t mean that they have no options in the United States. The company still has every chance to be licenced in the United States in 2014 and given half the chance, there is no doubt that the company would love to be valid in California.
When PokerStars first looked into receiving legislation in the US, they were looking to be active in Nevada. The company had managed to strike up the beginning of a partnership with Wynn Resorts. Sadly, these plans were struck down when Black Friday happened but of course, PokerStars got their head down and got on with things. They will need to have this attitude again after the New Jersey setback. No one would truly bet against PokerStars getting to where they want to be in life, but it will be a struggle.