According to a report on Forbes.com, in February Caesars Entertainment approached PokerStars.com in an attempt to sell the World Series of Poker and the Rio Hotel & Casino, the host of the U.S. WSOP events, to the online poker giant. The acquisition presumably would have made it easier for PokerStars to obtain an online poker license in Nevada.
“PokerStars in early February and offered to sell us certain assets, such as the Rio Casino in Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker. Caesars suggested that this acquisition would give us a better relationship with Caesars and would help PokerStars gain a license in Nevada. PokerStars declined the offer because we had no plans to acquire another casino in the near term,” said Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars.
PokerStars recently announced plans to purchase the Atlantic Club in Atlantic City, New Jersey with an eye on using the property’s gaming license to offer online poker in New Jersey. On Monday the American Gaming Association came out in opposition of the purchase and subsequent licensing citing PokerStars’ business in the United States that lead to the Black Friday charges.
“The integrity of the gaming industry would be gravely compromised by any regulatory approvals of PokerStars, a business built on deceit, chicanery and the systematic flouting of U.S. law. New Jersey’s law and regulatory tradition mandate denial of this petition,” said Brian Molloy and David Stewart, lawyers representing the AGA in the brief filed with Division of Gaming Enforcement and Casino Control Commission. Caesars Entertainment is a member of the AGA.
Last July PokerStars settled the Black Friday charges with the Department of Justice, agreeing to pay $547 million to the DOJ. An important part of that settlement allowed PokerStars to pursue licensing in the United States with no objection from the U.S. Government, instead putting the onus on regulatory bodies to determine their licensing suitability.
“PokerStars is one of the world’s largest and most respected internet gaming companies because we work closely with regulators and are in good standing with governments around the world, holding licenses in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Estonia, Belgium, Malta and Isle of Man,” said Hollreiser “We will continue to work positively with regulators in New Jersey and elsewhere whenever they review our qualifications.”