PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room, is gearing up to re-enter the US online poker market as soon as state or federal poker laws become more favorable.
Interacting with Yogonet.com, Eric Hollreiser, head (corporate communications) for PokerStars, said that PokerStars intends to be part of the US poker market as soon as the industry is regulated at the state or federal level.
Further stating that neither Full Tilt Poker nor PokerStars admitted to any wrongdoing when the settlement deal was being finalized, he said that both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will apply for licenses to operate online poker services in the US as soon as the industry is regulated at the federal or state level.
Poker market analysts, however, are wondering how PokerStars’s applications will be accepted by US regulatory bodies as it cannot be denied that the online poker company violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) 2006 and continued to offer real money poker services to US players. The company very well knew that the UIGEA made it illegal for US banks and financial institutions to process poker-related funds knowingly. In fact, PokerStars grew to become the world’s largest online poker company simply because it stayed back in the USA even after the government passed the UIGEA into law.
Hollreiser said, “We are the leading online poker site and licensed in more countries than anyone in the industry. We bring tremendous value, credibility, and integrity to the marketplace. With our US legal issues now resolved, we are a very qualified candidate for a license.”
Industry analysts believe that PokerStars would never have signed the settlement deal with the DoJ if it did not facilitate its smooth re-entry into the US online poker market. The DoJ had resisted the introduction of this clause, but had finally agreed to it because it is seriously thinking about regulating online poker at the federal level.
According to John Pappas, executive director of Poker Players’ Alliance (PPA), the DoJ could have easily removed Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars from the US online poker market, but did not do so because it has finally realized that regulation of the industry could greatly boost national revenue.
Only time can tell if Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars will be allowed to re-enter the US market. Taking into consideration the fact that these brands have a huge pool of players, regulatory bodies in the US are sure to grant licenses to them.