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PokerStars May Enter U.S. Based on New DoJ Policy

The U.S. Department of Justice has apparently established a new policy in conjunction with outstanding charges tied to online gambling that have been levied against individuals who are not American citizens and whose companies did not establish a physical presence within the U.S.

A recent report from indicates that defendants such as PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg who have yet to own up to Black Friday-type allegations may be allowed to pay fines and make corporate plea bargains that would resolve the charges. Such a scenario would likely allow the suspension of PokerStars’ application to participate in New Jersey’s online gambling regime to be lifted.

The report alludes to the possibility that plea negotiations could be finalized this year, perhaps allowing PokerStars to join Party Borgata, WSOP and the All American Poker Network in providing online poker to New Jersey residents. Remember too that parent company the Rational Group promised to base their U.S. headquarters in New Jersey if granted an Internet gambling license, which would boost the state’s economy.

The fine imposed on Scheinberg/PokerStars would likely be substantial. However, with a foot in the door of the U.S. online gambling market hanging in the balance, Rational Group executives would no doubt be eager to fork over whatever penalty the DoJ deems necessary.

The report does not indicate how received information regarding the new DoJ policy. But Bodog founder Calvin Ayre is facing online gambling charges of his own and one can certainly speculate that his lawyers have been in contact with the DoJ in hopes of removing Ayre’s mug shot from the Most Wanted list of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Like Scheinberg, Ayre is not a U.S. citizen.



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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.