The Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City is expecting the decision on whether PokerStars, the biggest online poker site in the world, will become licensed in New Jersey. The owner of the Resorts Casino Hotel, Morris Bailey, says that the decision will come soon. “I’m talking about weeks, not months,” he said.
Back in 2013, PokerStars tried to enter the New Jersey online gambling market in tandem with Resorts. But the biggest poker operator was suspended for two years due to unsolved legal issues related to former executives including an accusation against its founder. The entering of PokerStars in the New Jersey market was also affected by the bad actor clause.
According to Morris Bailey, the Gaming Enforcement Division in New Jersey indicated that the poker operator has entered into its final phase of review. Bailey said there should be a decision whether Amaya Gaming, PokerStars’ new parent company, would become licensed to practice online gambling in the US state – something the former owners were unable to achieve.
Regarding the Resorts Casino Hotel, the property was struggling to survive five years ago because of the competition from the other casinos in Atlantic City. Four competing casinos went out of business in 2014, freeing up market share. In the meantime Resorts has grown and increased its profit by bringing aboard the casino management of the Mohegan Indian tribe, including extra amenities and keeping prices lower than those of its competitors. Earlier this month Resorts Digital was given the go-ahead by the Casino Control Commission and is now fully licensed for online gambling in the state as well.
Wednesday the property cut the ribbon on a $9.4 million expansion of its meeting and conference areas. Resorts President Mark Giannantonio said that the casino was dead, but it has been brought back to life. “The year when I started working at Resorts Casino Hotel the property lost $12 million. In 2014 we made $2.5 million. I believe this year we can do far better,” he added.