Several Companies Issued New Jersey Approvals This Week
With only two weeks to go before the soft launch of real money regulated online betting sites in New Jersey, this week saw a flurry of licensing approvals, with the first offshore-based companies getting the go ahead from Garden State regulators, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Companies that received transactional waivers from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement this week were bwin.party, 888 Holdings, Bally Technologies, Betfair, Amaya, CAMS, and Gamesys, among others.
Transactional waiver is essentially temporary approval
It should be noted that the transactional waivers granted this week do not amount to full approval for the companies; a transactional waiver is basically a temporary permission that could be rescinded should regulators uncover additional background information on a company affecting its suitability to operate in New Jersey.
Such a withdrawal, however, is highly unlikely. The head of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck, has said that every company that has ever won a transactional waiver from the state has eventually gone on to receive full regulatory approval.
PokerStars not issued transactional waiver … yet
One company noticeably absent from Friday’s list is PokerStars, one of the most-watched and certainly most talked about applicants in New Jersey.
This does not mean that PokerStars, which has partnered up with Resorts, Inc., the oldest land-based casino in the state, is out of the running for a license in New Jersey, simply that it has not been green-lighted yet.
“Our application remains under review by NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement & we remain committed to working with them to complete the process,” Hollreiser tweeted.
Company has been dogged in it quest to gain U.S. re-entry
PokerStars has been focused on re-entering the U.S. online poker market ever since it made an ignoble exit back on April 15, 2011, the date known to American online poker enthusiasts as Black Friday. That was the day that the United State government seized the domains – and shuttered the rooms, seizing player funds in the process – of offshore online gambling companies offering real money games to U.S.-based players.
Having settled its case with the United States Justice Department in the summer of 2012 without admitting any wrongdoing, PokerStars has since been seeking entrée in the regulated U.S. market, having first attempted to purchase the newly-bankrupt Atlantic Club Casino Hotel for $15 million.
That deal was abruptly terminated by the Atlantic Club earlier this year because of PokerStars’ failure to obtain an interim casino operating license from New Jersey officials ahead of a drop-dead date stipulated in the purchase agreement both companies entered into in December of 2012 . On the heels of the breakdown of the Atlantic Club deal, PokerStars moved quickly to announce its new agreement with Resorts.
The Atlantic Club was permitted to keep $11 million that the parent company of PokerStars, Isle of Man-based the Rational Group, had already paid the struggling casino, funds that clearly were unable to help much with its fiscal problems. The Atlantic Club is set to hit the auction block soon.
As for New Jersey’s nascent iGaming market – games are going to be launching in the Garden State on November 26 at 9 a.m. local time, with the above-mentioned soft launch period commencing five days prior on November 21.