If PokerStars were to start legally operating in the US market, Steve Wynn might have a major role to play in it. Early in 2011, PokerStars tentatively partnered with Wynn Resorts to urge Nevada to regulate and legalize its online poker industry. Later the US federal government cracked down on PokerStars, leading to its exit from the US market and its subsequent $731 million settlement deal with the US federal government, as part of which it acquired the Full Tilt Poker brand. Now, PokerStars is reportedly planning to purchase a casino in Atlantic City, developed by Steve Wynn nearly 30 years back. Wynn, however, neither has a share in the casino nor a partnership deal with PokerStars.
The chances of PokerStars purchasing Atlantic Club Hotel Casino for around $50 million are quite high. The present owner of this casino hotel is Colony Capital, an international real estate investment company. Although its value has reduced right now, the casino property was worth over $500 million just a few years back.
Understandably, PokerStars is planning to purchase this property to make its re-entry into a regulated US gaming market as smooth as possible, particularly because individual US states are giving a preference to land casino owners.
Since the US federal government is expected to legalize online gaming at the federal level, New Jersey is more eager than ever to legalize its online gaming industry. Nevada legalized online casino gaming in mid 2011 and is now seeking to expand.
Atlantic Club Casino, which was known as The Golden Nugget in the eighties, was rebranded as Atlantic City Hilton recently, but Hilton Hotels and Resorts broke all ties with the property to “protect its name and identity.” Colony Capital has been trying to sell the property from 2011. If PokerStars purchases the property for $50 million, it will definitely look as if the online poker company has acquired it for cheap. However, PokerStars would have acquired the property with all its debts and financial obligations.
PokerStars will acquire the property only if it gets a New Jersey poker license, and it cannot be stated for sure if New Jersey will legalize online poker. Although PokerStars failed to obtain a license in Nevada, its presence in New Jersey is bound to benefit the market. Following its $731 million settlement deal with the federal government, PokerStars acquired Full Tilt Poker and now enjoys a major share of the international online poker market.