Rational Group, the parent company for Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, has reportedly been denied a New Jersey online gambling licence in its partnership with Atlantic City casino and hotel Resorts.
Breaking the news late Tuesday after speculation earlier this week that a licence would not be forthcoming, the information site Poker News quoted “…a source with direct contact to Resorts ownership.”
“The source indicated that the DGE [New Jersey Division for Gambling Enforcement] is taking issue with the purported involvement of PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, who faces ongoing federal indictment, in the company despite promises to federal authorities that he would no longer hold any management positions,” Poker News reported.
The publication notes that Scheinberg stepped down as director of the company as part of PokerStars’ $731 million settlement with the Department of Justice following the Black Friday shutdowns in April 2011, but has remained outside U.S. jurisdiction to avoid facing criminal prosecution on a string of charges associated with Rational’s online poker business activities in the United States.
Isai Scheinberg’s son, Marc Scheinberg, is currently CEO of Rational Group, and the Poker News source intimated that the company and Resorts Casino and Hotel intend to press on in an effort to gain licensing by showing that the elder Scheinberg no longer runs the company.
Approached by Poker News for comment, Rational Group declined to make a statement on the issue.
Pokerstars has pledged to spend $10 million building a poker room at Resorts Casino Hotel once the company gains approval.
More clarity and perhaps official confirmation of the story will likely surface later today (Wednesday) when the next list of licence approvals is released by the Division for Gambling Enforcement prior to the soft launch of online gaming in New Jersey on November 21.
Atlantic City land casino operators already awarded permits are Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Trump Plaza, Trump Taj Majal and Tropicana Casino and Resort.
Caesars Entertainment properties are expected to be on today’s list.