A.G.A. Seeks to Block PokerStars from Atlantic City Casino Purchase

aga-logoThe Rational Group, the parent of top online poker brand PokerStars, came to an agreement with The Atlantic Club, which is located in Atlantic City. The group is hoping to finalize a purchase for the struggling casino and bring it back to life. The Rational Group created Rational US, a new subsidiary of their company to be able to make the agreement.

The Atlantic Club was losing millions and was on the brink of shutting down, which would mean lower revenues for the area as well as thousands of jobs lost. Despite the positive of PokerStars purchasing the struggling casino, the American Gaming Association is trying to stop the poker brand from purchasing the casino.

The American Gaming Association, otherwise known as the AGA, is a lobbying group located in the United States that focuses on the interests of American casinos. The group has now filed a brief in the state of New Jersey with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission as well as the Division of Gaming Enforcement. The group wants to block PokerStars from purchasing the casino.

According to the brief filed by AGA, they consider PokerStars a ‘business built on deceit, chicanery, and the systematic flouting of U.S. law.” The brief states further that is any action is taken to allow PokerStars to have a license in the US would ‘send a damaging message to the world of gaming, and to the world beyond gaming, that companies that engage in chronic lawbreaking are welcome in the licensed gaming business.”

The AGA is overlooking the results of this settlement, it seems. The company has called PokerStars a ‘criminal enterprise’ and stated that since the company provided online poker in the US and a license was required in the past, then the company basically violated laws in each US state.

However, PokerStars and Rational officials are not agreeing with the AGA’s statements. Eric Hollreiser is the Director of Communications for PokerStars and he commented in a recent email, as reported by Bloomberg, which read: “These are matters for expert regulators to determine, not self-interested partisans picking a public fight. We will continue to work positively with regulators in New Jersey and elsewhere whenever they review our qualifications.”

Last year, PokerStars was able to settle with the Department of Justice for the civil suit which stemmed from Black Friday. The company paid $731 million for operating in the US previously. Part of this large sum was used to pay players back for the monies that were frozen in their online poker accounts. Trust for either site has not wavered, even post-Black Friday.

With their recent settlement finalized months ago, the Rational Group did not admit they did anything wrong and the DOJ cleared the company to have the ability to gain a license in the US, as soon as legal options were available. Traffic at both sites is up, especially at PokerStars, the world’s #1 poker site in terms of real money players. As far as USA sites go, RealMoneyOnlinePoker.org and other portals have been pushing Bovada (formerly known as Bodog in the US) very intently, mainly because of the popularity of anonymous tables and how appealing their site is too recreational players.

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