Wednesday July 18 2012 : IS A POKERSTARS-FULL TILT DEAL REALLY ON?
Card Player columnist Matt Glantz does not believe so
Optimistic rumours have been surging back and forth in recent months regarding a Pokerstars deal with the US Department of Justice that would enable Stars to take over Full Tilt and pay the numerous players owed by the currently moribund online poker operator.
But one columnist and poker pro, Matt Glantz, is not so sure that a deal is viable.
Writing on the Card Player website this week, Glantz correctly points out that the DoJ currently holds all the cards and consequently call the shots as Pokerstars strives to clear its slate of alleged wrongdoing and get a foot in the door of any legalised US poker business that might emerge in the future.
It is with the latter that Glantz has concerns, pointing out that no matter if legalization is federal or state-by-state, the individual states will retain their right to accept or prohibit online poker, and the right to control how it is run within their boundaries.
"The DOJ has no power in who or what the states allow in their online world," Glantz points out. "The DOJ can cut any deal they want with PokerStars to free them and their principals from federal prosecution. They can agree not to block PokerStars from coming back into the U.S. in the future. But the problem lies in that the DOJ has no power over the states. How do they insist that the states allow PokerStars to operate in each jurisdiction?"
He goes on to observe that Caesars Entertainment holds sway in most US gambling states, and with online poker ambitions of its own it is unlikely to welcome the competition that a formidable rival like Pokerstars would represent.
"It would only make smart business sense for Caesars to do whatever it can to block PokerStars at all costs from getting back in the states," writes Glantz. "They don’t want that formidable competition in the inevitable multi-billion dollar online gaming industry that will happen in the U.S. Caesars is obviously prepared for this future and they can plainly see the difference between a PokerStars involved U.S. online market and a non-PokerStars U.S. online market. One in which Caesars would surely dominate."Although I would like to believe this deal will get done to repay the players I have considerable doubts that this will actually happen from this current deal."