Wednesday January 22,2014 : A CHANCE FOR INDICTED ONLINE GAMBLING EXECS TO CLEAN THE SLATE?
Unconfirmed reports of a new Department of Justice policy could see Pokerstars and Bodog return to regulated US states.
One of the obstacles preventing online gambling giants like Pokerstars and Bodog from lawfully re-entering the US in states where the pastime has been legalised has been the indicted status of key executives like Isai Scheinberg and Calvin Ayre, but that situation could be about to change, according to an unconfirmed report in the publication Calvin Ayre.com.
Quoting unidentified sources, the publication claims that the DoJ is taking a fresh approach, conditional on those indicted not being US citizens, and their companies not maintaining a physical presence in the United States during the period when their alleged illegal activity took place.
If those two central conditions are met, the DoJ is apparently prepared to accept corporate pleas and probably set substantial fines to clean the slate.
With the "cleansing" of such executives, the way would then be open for the companies they founded to make the necessary applications in states that have legalised such as New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware (with more to follow, hopefully)
Whilst it does not comment on the possibilities for its own founder Calvin Ayre, the publication does note that its source is confident that Scheinberg will be cleared this year, making the attempts at securing a New Jersey licence by Pokerstars and its land partner Resorts Atlantic City more likely to achieve success.
Our readers will recall that the New Jersey regulator recently put the Pokerstars application on ice until its executive problems with the DoJ are resolved.
How the change in DoJ attitude – if true – will sit with the American Gaming Association is not presently clear.
The Association last year took the unprecedented step of trying to intervene in the licensing application of Pokerstars parent The Rational Group in New Jersey, slamming the company and its executives and characterising them as unsuitable for licensing in an action that was seen by many as motivated by protectionism for its members
That was under the leadership of Frank Fahrenkopf who has since moved on, but his successor at the AGA helm, Geoff Freeman, has been vocal in saying that the AGA intends to keep ‘undesirable’ elements out of the US market.