PokerStars and Resorts Casino Hotel have announced a partnership agreement that will permit the world’s leading online poker site to provide online gaming software in New Jersey.
Just one day following the revelation that PokerStars was again prevented by New Jersey courts from succeeding in their quest to buy the Atlantic Club casino comes the news that parent company Rational Group has found another way to finagle into the U.S. market. The full details of the partnership agreement have not yet been released, but both companies are ecstatic to be joining forces.
“Resorts is a fantastic partner for us and we are looking forward to launch PokerStars in the U.S. in association with the other quality brands Resorts has brought to Atlantic City,” said Mark Scheinberg, Rational Group CEO. “We are very happy to invest in New Jersey and we are excited about building a successful relationship with Resorts.”
Resorts Casino Hotel was the first brick and mortar to open on the Atlantic City boardwalk and has previously established partnerships with other brands such as Margaritaville and Mohegan Sun. “This [PokerStars] is another blue chip partner for Resorts to complete a wonderful series of brands,” Resorts’ Company Chairman Morris Bailey told a PRNewswire reporter.
New Jersey gaming officials must still approve the partnership agreement. It’s natural to assume that the American Gaming Association will again try to intervene in keeping PokerStars from gaining the green light to form an allegiance with the landmark casino.
PokerStars has been eyeing the U.S. online poker market for quite some time. Many believe that the deal brokered with the DoJ last year that saw Rational Group acquire Full Tilt Poker was done partly to get in the good graces of U.S. authorities. PokerStars did receive the DoJ’s blessing to enter the market if possible.
In the absence of federal online poker legislation, individual states have been enacting their own laws and some are including bad actor language to keep out the likes of PokerStars, who continued operating in the U.S. post-UIGEA. New Jersey has no such provisions in its statute, making the Garden State the best opportunity to get a foot in the door of the U.S. market.
That door has now been opened by Resorts Casino and PokerStars wants in. It will be up to state gaming officials to decide upon PokerStars’ suitability as a partner. PokerStars has shown tremendous tenacity in striving to be included in the newly-regulated online poker and gambling market in the U.S. I wouldn’t bet against them at this point.