According to several sources, PokerStars is negotiating to purchase of the struggling Atlantic Club Casino located on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey in the hopes that New Jersey gambling regulators will allow them to run online poker legally in the state.
This news comes just under four months after the world’s largest poker room spent $731 million to settle its dispute with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The settlement reached this year with the federal government states that nothing in it prevents PokerStars from re-entering the U.S. under a legal online poker system.
“Those provisions clearly permit PokerStars to offer real-money play under a licensed regulatory scheme provided by a state and participate in New Jersey,” Jeff Ifrah, an attorney for PokerStars, said Thursday.
The news comes as New Jersey has reconfirmed their intentions of offering online gambling within the state in an effort to help the ailing gambling industry in the state and create new jobs.
Such a deal would effectively allow PokerStars to offer online poker in New Jersey and because of their strong brand presence in the United States, it could potentially disrupt the plans of other upcoming operators, namely land based casinos looking to expand into the online poker space.
PokerStars recently announced a deal with the Hippodrome Casino in London which saw the company acquire a stake in the brick and mortar casino and will follow with a PokerStars branded live poker room in 2013.
If a deal were to consummate, we could likely expect to see a PokerStars branded live poker room in the United States.
Rumours of the company also establishing a land based presence in Canada have also surfaced recently.