Pokerstars, who have been vigorously pursuing entry into New Jersey gaming market, met yet another hurdle last week when New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement declared that review of their application will be suspended for up to two years.
In a statement announcing the decision the Division also stipulated that the review can be resumed sooner if “significantly changed circumstances are demonstrated”. The statement does go on to elaborate what the said circumstances apparently mean.
The reason for this suspension is Pokerstars’ continued association with the company’s founder, Isai Scheinberg. After Black Friday, Scheinberg was federally indicted for violations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and Illegal Gambling Business Act but has not come to the U.S. to face charges. He recently hired none other than former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey as a lawyer.
Pokerstars removed Scheinberg from Board of Directors but continued employing him as an advisor in a role of “Pokerstars fellow”.
Pokerstars’ reaction was indicative of their determination to continue seeking a license in New Jersey as they expressed disappointment in the DGE decision. In the words of their spokesman Eric Hollresier, “We note that the DGE will resume the review of our application if our circumstances change. We will remain in open dialogue with the DGE and will update them on changes in our situation as they occur.”