Eric Hollreiser, head of corporate communications at online poker operator PokerStars, remains ‘confident’ about what the company can achieve in the US market in 2014 despite having suffered a number of disappointments in the last year.
One of the main goals of Pokerstars in 2013 was to launch an online gambling service in the recently regulated US state of New Jersey.
PokerStars parent company the Rational Group’s proposed investment in the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in New Jersey also fell through in April 2013 after it missed a deadline for acquiring a temporary licence.
In a blog on the PokerStars website, Hollreiser said he was “saddened” by the new of the closure but said the firm is “no longer in a position” to help employees at the hotel.
“It’s always sad when hard-working people lose their jobs, especially during the holiday season,” he said. “This is particularly sad, though, because it simply didn’t have to happen.
“Now the Atlantic Club will be stripped for parts and its employees will be put out onto the boardwalk in search of new jobs in 2014. Unfortunately, PokerStars is no longer in a position to help the Atlantic Club employees and the local economy in general.
“The continued delays in our regulatory review prevent us from entering the market at this time and bringing the marketing and operational investment we have planned for the past year.”
Despite the disappointments, Hollreiser said PokerStars still believes in the potential of the New Jersey online gaming market.
“We continue to share the vision that online gaming will be a boon for New Jersey,” he said.
“PokerStars does not share the vulture-like management practices that led to the coming job losses and disappointment of thousands of people in New Jersey with the closure of the Atlantic Club.
“Instead, PokerStars will continue to pursue our goals and remain confident that we will have a strong presence and positive economic impact in the American market in 2014, whether that is in New Jersey or another state seeking the benefits of being home to a world-class online gaming company.”