Following speculation that Poker Stars parent company, Rational Group was eyeing the purchase an Atlantic City casino, it was confirmed today that Rational has signed an agreement to buy the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, located on the Boardwalk. The only thing now standing between the agreement and the final signature is permission for the deal to go through by the New Jersey authorities.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has, according to reports, 90 days to examine the agreement and file a report with the Casino Control Commission regarding its opinion on the deal. The Commission then has another month to give its final decision on the purchase.
Poker Stars has assured management of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel that they will be retained during this interim period and beyond it, and also commented that the agreement has the potential to create up to 2,000 jobs in the economically battered New Jersey gambling industry.
Should Governor Chris Christie sign a pending bill into law, New Jersey will be allowed to offer online poker and casino games from Atlantic City casinos, and clearly Poker Stars is hoping to get its foot into a market which has the potential to generate a significant new source of revenue for the online poker group. The governor is still mulling the wording of the law before he decides to vote in favor or veto the bill.
The purchase of interests in a physical casino is part of a new strategy by Rational Group to invest in live gambling establishments in a bid to promote its online platform. Last year, Poker Stars invested in London’s Hippodrome Casino, upgrading the poker room and attracting new poker players. In addition, the group added a poker room to the Casino Gran Madrid in Spain.