By Wendeen H. Eolis
Poker Player Newspaper
May 1, 2013

PokerStars’ purchase agreement for the Atlantic Club Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City has expired. In a public statement, this morning ,Michael Frawley, COO of Atlantic Club Casino and Hotel has confirmed that the purchase agreement is terminated.  Nevertheless, it is too early to jump to conclusions.

There is nothing said thus far to suggest that the two companies cannot re-cement an updated agreement. If necessary, PokerStars could update its completed application which has been submitted to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

When it comes to online poker, machinations, twists, turns, and outcomes unfathomable at one moment have been known to become stark reality the next.

PokerStars May Still be Valued in New Jersey

Governor Chris Christie, a proponent of a full court press to revive Atlantic City, faces massive pressure to find the means to recovery from Hurricane Sandy. PokerStars’ promise to bring jobs, civic commitment and 40 million dollars to the project cannot so easily be dismissed.
The current re-consideration of the MGM’s bid for a permanent license remains on the table. The MGM’s partnership with the daughter of a reputed crime figure in Macau created a log jam last time around.

The Company is making a new bid, producing documentation that the daughter has a smaller stake in the partnership . She is also  in litigation against her father. Ergo the case is apparently made that the relationship should be in the “no worries” category.

One former gaming regulator who wishes to remain anonymous insisted on hearing the news insisted, “If the MGM obtains its license, PokerStars arguments for a license would get only better, but neither should get it if the State wants to keep up its standards as online gaming re-emerges in this country.”

Last month PPN published an article detailing the position of supporters of the  American Gaming Association’s opposition to PokerStars obtaining a casino license and another one outlining the position of supporters of PokerStars’ efforts to obtain a license in the Garden State. The participants were primarily lawyers. On his twitter account, Caesars’ Interactive’s spokesman Seth Palansky made favorable mention of the PPN article that detailed  the views supportive of the AGA position.

PokerStars’ Alternatives

Meanwhile there are mumblings coming in from the Isle of Man that PokerStars top brass are confident the company will obtain a license–in NJ or elsewhere in the U.S. long before the Fertitta Brothers or anyone else can outpace them.

And in the world of unfathomable, there is always the possibility that Caesars and PokerStars will set aside their penetrating tiff. It wouldn’t be the first time arch rivals in the poker world later acquire a taste for each other.