N. J. suspends PokerStars license request for two years
The suspension by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement "is based primarily on the unresolved federal indictment against Isai Scheinberg," the founder of PokerStars, "for the alleged violation of federal gambling statutes," the division said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday.
It also cited "the involvement of certain PokerStars executives with Internet gaming operations" in the United States after passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006.
PokerStars, based in the Isle of Man, had sought to reenter the U.S. market through an agreement with the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. New Jersey legalized online betting in February as a way to boost the state's $3 billion casino industry, which has been losing business as nearby markets expanded.
Last year, PokerStars reached a $731 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over allegations of money laundering and fraud related to its now-closed real-money online poker service in the United States.
New Jersey regulators said Wednesday that they might consider a request to reactivate the application "if significantly changed circumstances are demonstrated."
"We are disappointed that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has suspended the review of our application at this time," PokerStars spokesman Eric Hollreiser said in a statement. "We will remain in open dialogue with the DGE and will update them on changes in our situation as they occur."