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2013-12-12 21:12:00

Pokerstars Facing Big Decision



The King is pouring a cup of tea, while talking about the latest news from Pokerstars in relation to the U.S. market

Earlier this week, Pokerstars received some bad news from New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The DGE informed Pokerstars that they would be suspending the online poker behemoth's license application for a period of two years. Make some changes, the DGE said, and we might re-activate your application.

The biggest bone of contention for New Jersey's DGE? Isai Scheinberg's continued association with the company.

This news is not all that surprising - it was widely assumed that Pokerstars would be facing a dogfight as they attempted to win access into new online gaming markets in the United States. Sure, part of Pokerstars' settlement with the US government allowed them to apply for access into new and opening markets within the United States, but that certainly didn't mean that they would be granted entry. The powerful American Gaming Association came out aggressively against Pokerstars' NJ application, and Pokerstars will almost certainly face the same roadblocks as they attempt to gain access into US markets that may open in the future.

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There are three states that currently allow online poker (Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware), and Pokerstars is not even close to being granted access to any of them.

Pokerstars' attempt to penetrate the New Jersey market has been unsuccessful so far, and the setbacks have been embarrassing and expensive. Their failed attempt to purchase the Atlantic Club in New Jersey cost them millions, and their alliance with Resorts Casino Hotel may end up being a bust as well.

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I'm sure that Pokerstars is far from giving up on the United States, as the market is an extremely lucrative one.

However, you can't help but wonder how many setbacks the company will endure before they change course and focus on their non-US operations instead, which are obviously still extremely healthy.

It appears that in order to win access to the New Jersey market, Isai Scheinberg will need to completely disassociate himself from the company and face the music in the United States. Is he willing to do both of these things? If the answer is no, Pokerstars will likely have a very hard time winning entry into any US market, let alone New Jersey.


Filed Under: Poker Room News





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