PokerStars to Remain a Bad Actor to State Poker

December 13, 2013

Unfortunately, one of the biggest and most beloved online poker brands will not be a part of the New Jersey regulated and legal online poker market, and may not be part of regulated US poker at all for that matter if other states follow suit. Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware now offer legal online poker and have taken great lengths to offer it in a way that protects the residents of these states. However, New Jersey just doesn’t feel right allowing PokerStars to operate online poker services to New Jersey residents.

When the Nevada Gaming Commission first set up shop for real money Internet poker, they were very careful about their selection process, setting a very high bar for New Jersey and Delaware. These precedent states that will set the standard for all future state gambling projects have done an excellent job in the careful selection process that dictates which companies can and cannot operate online gambling sites from within a state, and one of the clauses in the application process is that “no bad actors” may participate in state poker or casino operations.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has suspended PokerStars’ application blaming the federal indictment against PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg for the rejection. PokerStars is not going to be a viable applicant for New Jersey online poker if the case against Scheinberg remains “unresolved.”

“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 (UIGEA), and the involvement of certain PokerStars executives with Internet gaming operations in the United States following the enactment of UIGE,” according to a statement by the division.

PokerStars spokesperson Eric Hollreiser commented to the press, “We are disappointed that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has suspended the review of our application at this time. 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.”

Despite the fact that the US Department of Justice cleared PokerStars to enter back into the US regulated market when they bought out Full Tilt Poker, states are likely still going to take this stance against the company until Scheinberg faces charges, and as long as he remains off US soil, it is likely he will ever face a courtroom.


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