Although already speculated last month, PokerStars have officially announced they are in advanced talks to finalize an agreement to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, a property originally founded by Steve Wynn, and located on the Atlantic City boardwalk through parent company Rational Group.
New Jersey is a state pushing for online gambling regulation and If the deal comes through, then PokerStars could be back offering poker in the United States soon. In order for that to happen, certain legislative provisions would need to be removed such as the “bad actor provision” which would basically hold PokerStars harmless for having previously accepted online wagers from Americans and as a result not restrict their ability to obtain an online gambling license.
New Jersey is the 11th largest state in the US in terms of population with about 9 million people according to a recent census. Nevada on the other hand is 35th with 2.8 million people. With the higher population and fewer online gambling licenses expected in New Jersey, the viability of online poker may have a better chance in the Garden State than it would in Nevada, especially with the bulk of New York’s bustling population being a stone’s throw away, making it quite easy for someone to relocate if they really wanted to play online.
This purchase would be PokerStars’ third public acquisition in land based gaming properties including London’s Hippodrome Casino and Gran Casino Madrid’s poker room.