PokerStars has had its application for online gambling in New Jersey suspended for two years by the US state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement due to ongoing concerns about the company’s founder, Isai Scheinberg.
Scheinberg is still under indictment from the Department of Justice for PokerStars’ activities in the US after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
The DGE confirmed in a notice to the operator that the decision was based on Scheinberg’s activities and the involvement of other unnamed PokerStars executives with online gambling operations in the US.
Lisa Spengler, DGE’s spokeswoman, said the application for a casino service industry license that would enable Stars to operate in the Garden State could be opened again before the two-year window, but only if major changes were made to the way the company operates.
“The division… may consider a request for relief to reactivate the application if significantly changed circumstances are demonstrated at which time the division’s investigation of PokerStars and its affiliated entities and associated individuals will be resumed to assess suitability,” Spengler said in a statement.
Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars’ spokesman, and William J. Pascrell III, a state lobbyist who represents PokerStars, said they expect the company to continue to fight for a license.
“PokerStars is committed to continuing the dialogue, working towards licensure and fulfilling their commitment to the state of New Jersey,” Pascrell said.
The world leader in online poker planned to acquire the Resorts Casino Hotel but the deal fell through when objections were raised by competitors and the DGE because of PokerStars’ activities post-UIGEA and company structure.
“We are disappointed that PokerStars was not issued a license,” Mark Giannantonio, Resorts’ president and chief executive, said. “We are hopeful that they can resolve their issues with the DGE in an expeditious fashion.”
The casino did not comment on whether it was seeking a new partnership with another firm after Pokerstars’ suspension.