A news report just in from a source that has direct contact with Resorts Casino Hotel ownership — the New Jersey casino partnered with PokerStars — states that the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) approval for an online gaming license was not given to PokerStars at this time.
According to the source, the DGE is taking issue with PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg's, purported involvement in the company while Scheinberg still faces an ongoing federal indictment after promising to federal authorities he would no longer hold management positions of any kind.
When PokerStars settled with the Department of Justice for $731 million, Scheinberg stepped down as director of the company as part of the settlement but has remained outside U.S. jurisdiction to avoid facing charges of money laundering, bank fraud, and illegal gambling operations. Mark Scheinberg, Isai's son, is the current CEO of the company.
PokerStars attempted to buy the Atlantic Club before partnering with Resorts Casino Hotel. After the sellers terminated the purchase agreement, a sworn statement by Atlantic Club management pointed to Isai's involvement in the negotiations.
The source went on to report that PokerStars and Resorts are working to gain approval by disassociating themselves from Isai Scheinberg.
There has been no comment from PokerStars on the source's report.
The American Gaming Association and Atlantic City casinos have opposed the world's most popular online poker website's admittance to the New Jersey virtual landscape.
"They always wanted to get a leg up on PokerStars to delay their entry into the market," the source told PokerNews.com of Atlantic City casinos. "Apparently they've been successful in that regard."
Once PokerStars gains approval, the company has pledged to spend $10 million to build a poker room at Resorts Casino Hotel.
An update to the list of Internet gaming permit holders and approved ancillary companies is expected by the DGE by Wednesday at 3 p.m. EDT. The following day New Jersey will roll out the soft launch of online gaming. The casinos that already hold the coveted permits are Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Trump Plaza, Trump Taj Majal and Tropicana Casino and Resort. Look for Caesars and its casino properties to receive approval tomorrow.
The virtual doors of online gaming in New Jersey will kick off with a soft launch Thursday between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. and continue Friday during those same hours, Saturday from 8 a.m. until midnight, and all day Sunday and Monday. If the soft launch goes as planned, the launch of full scale, regulated online gaming will begin on Tuesday, November 26th.