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US – PokerStars barred from New Jersey for two years

By - 13 December 2013

PokerStars will not be able to enter the New Jersey online gaming market for two years having had its application suspended by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.The company’s founder Isai Scheinberg is under indictment for Pokerstar’s operations in the US after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Lisa Spengler, Spokeswoman for the Division of Gaming Enforcement, said: “The Division of Gaming Enforcement has determined that the application of Rational Services Limited (PokerStars) casino service industry licensure will be held in a suspended status for a period of two years. The Division, within that period, may consider a request for relief to reactivate the application if significantly changed circumstances are demonstrated at which time the Division’s investigation of PokerStars and its affiliated entities and associated individuals will be resumed to assess suitability. “The Division’s determination is based primarily on the unresolved federal indictment against Isai Scheinberg for the alleged violation of federal gambling statutes, namely, the Illegal Gambling Business Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the involvement of certain PokerStars executives with Internet gaming operations in the United States following the enactment of UIGEA,” the New Jersey DGE said in its statement.

“We are disappointed that the N.J. Division of Gaming Enforcement has suspended the review of our application at this time,” Eric Hollreiser, a PokerStars spokesman, said in a statement. “We note that the DGE will resume the review of our application if our circumstances change. We will remain in open dialogue with the DGE and will update them on changes in our situation as they occur.”

William Pascrell, a political lobbyist working for PokerStars, added: “PokerStars is committed to continuing the dialogue, working towards licensure and fulfilling their commitment to the state of New Jersey.”

Pokerstars had planned to buy the Resorts Casino Hotel but the deal was subjected to fierce opposition. Following the breakdown of its potential sale to PokerStars, the struggling casino has now filed for bankruptcy protection to help see through a sale. It had also signe dup to provide the casinos online gaming platform.

Mark Giannantonio, Resorts’ President and Chief Executive, said: “We are disappointed that PokerStars was not issued a license. We are hopeful that they can resolve their issues with the DGE in an expeditious fashion.”

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