A few weeks after Gov. Chris Christie signed the gambling bill, the most important players are already fighting each other for supremacy in New Jersey. Although nothing is certain yet, everyone wants a slice of the potential cake and the competition is just as intense among online software developers and online gambling divisions. On one hand, Microgaming and Playtech powered casinos hope to be the first to introduce their mobile live dealer games and serve the hungry American audience.
On the other hand, major players such as Caesars Interactive and Rational Group are at each other’s throats trying to outshine the competition from the very beginning. The first company enjoys the protection of the Las Vegas land-based casino titan while the other is the parent company of PokerStars. Both of them are the uncontested leader in their niche and they have pretty big guns in their arsenal that they are ready to use if necessary.
Caesars claims that their bigger competitors shouldn’t be allowed to enter the market after bluntly ignoring legislation a few years ago. They claim that PokerStars have no hesitations in exploiting every loophole it could find in the law and even go around it when nothing else worked. Now that the poker company has purchased Full Tilt poker Caesars Entertainment has an even larger target to throw at.
In the opposite camp, PokerStars claims that everything it did in the past was absolutely legal and highlights the fact that the acquisition of Full Tilt poker was a transparent process. With the US Department of Justice overseeing the transition and giving green lights, they claim that there is nothing wrong about this acquisition. They plan to enter the market by purchasing Atlantic Club and have already submitted the necessary application, that the New Jersey Division for Gambling Enforcement will now investigate and come up with a report in no less than 90 days.
The commission could either accept the application or dismiss it and PokerStars will have very little to do if the worst-case scenario becomes a reality. Among its fiercest detractors is the American Gaming Association, with this organization bringing new arguments on the table each time it had the opportunity. The stakes couldn’t be higher and these preemptive attacks could be only the tip of the iceberg and a mild prelude of a more aggressive battle that could last for years.