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New Jersey Judge Reinstates PokerStars Bid to Acquire Atlantic Club

Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten has officially issued a restraining order against the Colony Capital to prevent the sale of the Atlantic Club casino to any bidder other than PokerStars.

The New Jersey Superior Court ruling comes about after PokerStars filed a civil lawsuit against the owners of the Atlantic Club. The online poker operator claimed that the Atlantic Club violated the terms of the agreement by demanding more money and asking for a chance to negotiate with another bidder. PokerStars’ attorneys cited a clause in the New Jersey Casino Control Act in which no casino purchase in progress can be cancelled once the application has been approved.

The original agreement was terminated recently with the owners of the CEO of the Atlantic Club stating that the agreement was terminated in accordance with agreed upon terms. The Atlantic Club supposedly asked PokerStars for a sum in the range of $6 million to extend the exclusive negotiating period, but the online poker operator countered with a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Courts. As a result, the court order revitalizes the $15 million purchase agreement between the casino and the online gambling operator.

“This step has been taken to protect Rational Group’s rights and interests under the purchase agreement,” PokerStars representative stated to NJ.com, “and reflects the group’s desire to complete the acquisition of the Atlantic Club.”

PokerStars has brought a lot of press and controversy over its application to purchase the Atlantic Club. The American Gaming Association pleaded with the Atlantic Club to prevent the purchase from a company that had been accused of charges such as bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling. The Atlantic Club also expressed its doubts about the agreement and asked for more money after PokerStars invested $11 million.

The court ruling has settled the legal dispute in this case and will allow PokerStars to pursue an online gambling license in New Jersey after the completion of its purchase.. Given the international compacts clause, the dominant online poker site may be available to New Jersey in the near future.

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