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PokerStars re-enters the American market

POKER STARS USPokerStars has teamed up with Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel to obtain a license that would enable it to re-enter the American market by offering intra-state online poker to New Jersey residents.

The deal announced late on Wednesday must still be approved by the eastern state's regulator although this same body rejected PokerStars’ previous planned partnership with the Atlantic Club Casino and Hotel, which cost the poker operator approximately $11 million and could potentially see it shell out up to $15 million.

The Isle of Man-based operator is suing Atlantic Club Casino and Hotel owner Colony Capital over the payments it made hoping to complete the deal.

Theories as to why the initial deal with the Atlantic Club Casino and Hotel collapsed have ranged from an administrative oversight on the part of PokerStars, which meant that it had not met the payment instalment deadlines, to regulators and the venue disapproving of the company’s business model post-UIGEA. There was also a large amount of lobbying against the deal from the American Gaming Association, whose members do not look favourably on a return by the poker giant to the United States market.

PokerStars did not respond to requests for comments on these questions at the time of writing.

'This is another blue-chip partner for Resorts to complete a wonderful series of brands; Mohegan Sun, Margaritaville and now PokerStars,' said Morris Bailey, Chairman for Resorts Casino Hotel.

'Resorts is a fantastic partner for us and we are looking forward to launching PokerStars in the United States in association with the other quality brands Resorts has brought to Atlantic City,' said Mark Scheinberg, Chief Executive Officer for The Rational Group, which is the parent firm for PokerStars.

'We are very happy to invest in New Jersey and we are excited about building a successful relationship with Resorts.'

All twelve of the casinos in Atlantic City have now met the June 30 deadline for submitting online gaming license applications with the process expected to be completed by November.

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