NJ Today's Managing Editor Mike Schneider visited with Michael Frawley, the COO of Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, in Atlantic City, New Jersey earlier this week about the pending deal between PokerStars and the casino, capital investment, and online poker in New Jersey.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report back in December that Rational Group — PokerStars parent company — was interested in the purchase of a New Jersey casino. Of course this purchase is expected to be PokerStars’ first step in re-entering the United States market. The Press of Atlantic City verified that information later and Eric Hollreiser, Rational Group's head of corporate communications, also gave confirmation to PokerNews.com that Rational had agreed to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel from Resorts International Holdings. The deal is now waiting for Interim Casino Authorization by New Jersey gaming officials.
“I am very pleased with the things that I’m hearing from the governor’s office,” Frawley said in the interview. “I’m very pleased with the things I’m hearing from PokerStars. I think that if you look at more capital investment, the more the casinos are profitable, the more capital investment they’ll make, the more people are apt to come, the more we’re able to build our properties up to where we want them to be.”
Frawley said PokerStars is likely to invest $20 million in the first year alone in the property and over the next five years that amount could climb to over $40 million. “I know that there are plans to invest in other places in the state,” Frawley said. “We are also going to have to build a data center on property which is a very significant property investment.”
Highlights from the interview:
- PokerStars would transform the property. As Frawley stressed: “the one thing that they’ve been great about is the plans that they’re going to make the property representative of their brand.”
- The Atlantic Club’s financial situation was bleak before the proposed deal with PokerStars.
- Frawley believes that Caesars may have an agenda, one they are pushing through the American Gaming Association.
- Frawley is confident that measures will be in place to deter underage and problem gambling.
Watch the interview with Frawley:
Watch Atlantic Club COO Anticipates Bright Future with PokerStars on PBS. See more from NJToday.
*Lead image courtesy of mycentraljersey.com.