Rational Group US Holdings, the parent company of leading online poker brands PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, is seeking approval from New Jersey casino regulators to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.
The move coincides with the recent passage by the New Jersey Assembly and New Jersey State Senate of an online gaming bill which contains provisions requiring that only brick-and-mortar Atlantic City casinos may offer poker (and other casino games) online to individuals located in New Jersey.
Interestingly, the version of the bill that was passed had been amended to remove a “bad actor” clause that would have placed significant obstacles in the way of any entity seeking an online poker license that had previously accepted bets from American citizens (which would have been a serious impediment to the ambitions of Rational Group Holdings, considering the history of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker).
The bill must still be signed into law by Governor Chris Christie, which is not a foregone conclusion. But, Rational Group Holdings seems to be betting on its passage, and positioning itself to take advantage of its knowledge of the online poker world if the bill becomes law. Governor Christie’s decision, and the presence of such big brands as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in the New Jersey online gaming space, will surely capture the attention of gaming attorneys and those more generally interested in Internet poker law.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic or pursuing a gaming venture in the State of New Jersey or elsewhere, please feel free to contact us.