The Rational Group, owner of online poker giant PokerStars, announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Resorts Casino Club to provide online gaming in the state of New Jersey.
The deal with the Resorts Casino Club would allow PokerStars back into the U.S. legally through New Jersey, which passed legislation this year and plans to have online gaming up and running by November. Eventually, it could also open the doors for PokerStars to enter other states as New Jersey forms compacts that would allow it to become the center for Internet gambling in the country.
The deal with Resorts Club is pending the approval of New Jersey gaming regulators.
“Resorts is a fantastic partner for us and we are looking forward to launch PokerStars in the U.S. in association with the other quality brands Resorts has brought to Atlantic City,” said Mark Scheinberg, CEO of The Rational Group. “We are very happy to invest in New Jersey and we are excited about building a successful relationship with Resorts.”
“This is another blue chip partner for Resorts to complete a wonderful series of brands - Mohegan Sun, Margaritaville and now PokerStars,” said Morris Bailey, Resorts’ Company Chairman.
The announcement comes days after a lower court ruled in against The Rational Group in regards to its vetoed purchase of the Atlantic Club Casino. Rational Group previously entered into an agreement with the struggling Atlantic City establishment with plans to re-enter the online poker market in the U.S. When the deal fell through, The Rational Group began its search for a new partner.
PokerStars was forced to leave the U.S. in April 2011 when the Department of Justice charged the company and two rival online poker rooms with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling operations. However, The Rational Group settled with the DOJ in August 2012 while admitting no wrongdoing, allowing the company to legally apply for a gaming license once the applicable laws were passed.