After all of their recent successes and announcements, it looks as though we might see some PokerStars casino trouble as the American Gaming Association speaks out against the idea of their purchase of The Atlantic Club casino in New Jersey. The issue that they have with the plan seems to be that they do not think PokerStars can be trusted, following their notorious history of brushes with the law in the US.
The lawyers representing AGA, Brian Molloy and David Stewart, said in a statement that they do not want PokerStars to purchase the casino because they “operated as a criminal enterprise for many years” with their US gaming site and because of the company’s “alleged use of deceit, trickery and other illegal tactics”. While it remains to be seen whether or not the group will be allowed to buy the casino and start offering slot machine games and roulette alongside their famous poker games, this does seem to be quite a strong challenge to the idea and it may well gather some weight with popular support.
“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,” the brief from AGA stated. “New Jersey’s law and regulatory tradition mandate denial of this petition.” It then added: “Any action allowing PokerStars to be licensed would send a damaging message to the world of gaming, and to the world beyond gaming, that companies that engage in chronic law breaking are welcome in the licensed gaming business. That message would dramatically undermine public confidence in gaming regulation and could cripple the industry’s public image.”
“These are matters for expert regulators to determine, not self-interested partisans picking a public fight,” said Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communication for the Rational Group who own PokerStars. “The U.S. Department of Justice has said PokerStars is suitable to apply for a license in the U.S. and saw fit to give us the assets of our largest competitor and entrust us to compensate their customers outside of the U.S. We will continue to work with authorities, including the NJ regulators and other interested state regulators, to discuss our qualifications and allow them to comment on what they find.”