Communications arms of both PokerStars and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement have come forward to insist PokerStars’ licensing application remains active without disputing reports in Poker Player Newspaper that regulators have determined to keep PokerStars off the list as of this time as part of the starting line up of Internet gaming companies that will begin full operations in New Jersey beginning November 26.
Neither Poker Stars, nor the Division of Gaming Enforcement have made any reference yet as to when and how they will go further in their dance. Poker Player Newspaper has learned this hot potato has been dropped in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s State House where the midnight oil is poised to burn as early as this weekend. Christie has his hands full! The Governor is seen by lawyers queried this morning as between a rock and a hard place on next steps, but folks around the State House say the Governor will get involved in wrestling with the current issues, fearlessly.
In the past, Goversor Christie has been viewed as supportive of PokerStars’ entry into the New Jersey gaming market, but he appears to be equally concerned about insuring public confidence in the integrity of companies and suitability of licensees. Most lawyers consulted on the PokerStars licensing application over the past months agree that PokerStars’ is not an easy fit with traditional guidelines created by New Jersey regulators. Most also concur, however, that PokerStars brings much to the table that would be good for New Jersey and do not count them out of the ballgame, by any means. To the contrary, these same gaming lawyers expect Stars to become part of the American-based gaming fraternity sooner than later. They note the Company’s highly publicized commitment to make Atlantic City their North American flagship home.
If the Governor gets deeply involved in reviewing this matter, as he is now expected to do, another otherwise unfathomable development may be in the making! Nevertheless, based on all of the reconfirmed information available, at present, I continue to bet the ranch–but not my life–that PokerStars will not be in the starting line-up come November 26th.