Saturday August 3,2013 : POKERSTARS FOLDS ON ATLANTIC CLUB CASINO ACQUISITION
But land casino operator may not get away with $11 million advance payment
Pokerstars parent, The Rational Group, appears to have put the abortive attempt to acquire the Atlantic Club land casino in New Jersey behind it, advising the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement this month that it is no longer pursuing the acquisition.
The company ran out of time in acquiring the necessary licensing, and Atlantic Club's owners refused to extend the acquisition agreement, backing out of the deal and retaining around $11 million of Rational's upfront payment.
Litigation followed, but the judicial ruling went against the Isle of Man company.
The Press of Atlantic City reports that Rational's legal representative notified the regulator on July 17 in a letter which disclosed that Rational was withdrawing its petition to acquire Atlantic Club.
The regulator released the letter Friday, and it was subsequently confirmed by Rational group communications director, Eric Hollreiser.
Rational has not given up on a New Jersey presence, and has started negotiations with Resorts Casino Hotel . An Atlantic City presence is crucial for companies planning to enter the evolving New Jersey online gambling market, where regulations call for servers to be located in Atlantic City.
Rational has likewise not abandoned its legal claim for monetary damages against Atlantic Club's owners, Hollresier said Friday. He explained that Rational no longer seeks the acquisition of Atlantic Club, but that it intends to recover the $11 million it paid upfront as part of an agreed purchase price of $15 million.
Atlantic Club owners Colony Capital LLC had not commented when InfoPowa went to press Saturday morning.
The Press of Atlantic City reports that Rational is currently seeking regulatory approval as a “casino service industry enterprise,” which would allow Pokerstars to partner with Resorts in a New Jersey Internet gambling enterprise.