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PokerStars Ends Fight for Atlantic Club

Realizing that you have to pick your battles with an eye toward going forth with those that have the best chance of winning, PokerStars has abandoned its attempt to purchase the Atlantic Club casino.

“We are no longer pursuing an acquisition of the Atlantic Club,” Rational Group honcho Eric Hollreiser told the Press of Atlantic City.

PokerStars has found another way to enter the U.S. online poker market, that of a partnership with the Resorts Casino Hotel. The top-ranked poker site will now focus on that plan, as opposed to throwing good money after bad by continuing to wage a battle to become a New Jersey casino owner.

However, the legal wrangling will continue with regard to monetary issues. PokerStars’ attorneys are still aiming to recoup the $11 million paid to the Atlantic Club since December as part of the $15 million purchase price. The casino owners used those funds to continue operating the Atlantic Club while online gambling regulations were being finalized in the Garden State.

Now that Internet poker and gambling is set to launch in New Jersey in November, the Atlantic Club has seen an increase in its value. The casino will likely attempt to capitalize on that by renegotiating with a new potential buyer.

PokerStars has formally withdrawn its petition for interim casino authorization, the Division of Gaming Enforcement announced. That was a requirement to owning a casino and the one that PokerStars failed to secure in a timely fashion. The result allowed Atlantic Club to pull out of the acquisition agreement and keep the $11 million tossed into the pot by PokerStars.

PokerStars is believed to be one of 37 applicants who have timely filed to be an online gaming service provider to the Resorts Casino, one of the state’s 12 land-based gambling establishments. That application will be thoroughly investigated by state gaming regulators, as will the other 36, prior to the anticipated launch date around Thanksgiving.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.