Friday November 14,2014 : IS POKERSTARS' NEW JERSEY MARKET ENTRY BEING DELIBERATELY DELAYED?
Accusations that state governor is implicated in political delay.
The impatiently awaited entry into the New Jersey online gambling market of Pokerstars and Full Tilt has resulted in more recriminations this week.
Commenting on the delays in licensing approval for new owners Amaya Gaming, New Jersey state senator and online gambling supporter Ray Lesniak took to Twitter this week, accusing New Jersey's Republican governor Chris Christie of holding back the licensing for political reasons.
The senator suggested that the governor may be delaying the process in deference top Republican Party funder and land casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, who is vehemently opposed to legalised online gambling.
Lesniak tweeted: “Poker Stars in time out because they would boost AC and hurt Adelson’s attempt in Congress to shut down Egaming,” and “Christie just giving Adelson time during Congressional lame duck session to kill Egaming.”
Observers pointed out that a Christie derailment would not be consistent with the governor's support for intrastate online gambling, which has seen New Jersey become one of three US states to legalise the pastime.
Lesniak subsequently acknowledged that this was simply his opinion, based on many years of political experience.
The New Jersey regulator and Amaya have been in discussions on licensing for Pokerstars since the middle of the year, and there was an air of optimism around the idea that the online poker giant would be available to New Jersey players before the year ended.
The delayed arrival has sparked many speculative but unconfirmed theories that range from the need for more protracted technical investigations to the composition of the executive team responsible for Pokerstars within the Amaya group’
Neither Amaya nor the Division for Gaming Enforcement has commented on the issue recently.