N.J. should put a magnifying glass on PokerStars: Opinion | NJ.com

By | August 20, 2014

N.J. should put a magnifying glass on PokerStars: Opinion | NJ.com

NJ State Assemblyman, Ralph R. Caputo, Chair of Tourism, Gaming and the Arts,  is no fan of Pokerstars.

Caputo publicly cheered Pokerstars’ previous failures in NJ when they first were trying to get licensed and subsequently when they were shut out of the Atlantic Club Casino purchase.

Caputo does not mince words. His distaste for the previous activity of Pokerstars in the US is very clear.

“To allow Amaya, which may be a legitimate company, to simply purchase assets and people that are the fruits of the poisonous tree — an enterprise that drew indictments from federal law enforcement while profiting handsomely — and let them operate in New Jersey would be an insult to everyone who has gone under scrutiny to work or do business in the casino industry over the past 30 years.”

Compare this to the open arm treatment of Pokerstars by NJ Senator Ray Lesniak who has constantly praised Pokerstars and has publicly gone on the record stating that they would be most welcome in NJ.

“I think PokerStars gaining approval would be the best thing to happen to the New Jersey Internet gaming industry, the biggest possible boost, because PokerStars has shown to be the biggest and the best online poker site.”

If we look at recent history, Nevada’s Gaming Commission faced a similar situation in the late 1960’s when Howard Hughes and his Summa Corporation acquired many of the mobbed up casinos in Las Vegas and paved the way for corporate ownership and the Las Vegas mega-resorts we know today.

 At that time, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved the sales and Las Vegas has never looked back.

In light of the dismal poker revenue figures from NJ and the fact that they will at minimum in the short term get a boost from the market entry of Pokerstars , and in light of the fact that Amaya is only applying for a supplier license, I would venture to say that Amaya will be approved and we will see Pokerstars/Full Tilt in NJ this fall.


The only caveat is whether or not some of the other suppliers or the AGA begins to sound the alarm as they did previously but since the “bad actors” are out of the way, I doubt this will happen.

N.J. should put a magnifying glass on PokerStars: Opinion | NJ.com.

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Alex Igelman

Alex Igelman is a gaming lawyer and consultantbased in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 2007,Alex Igelman foundedGaming Research Partners, a full servicegaming and eSports consultancy that specializes in research and business development.
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