Amaya led PokerStars Re-entrance To US Market Labelled “An Insult”
The imminent return of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to the shores of the US is not as welcome to some as it is to others.
Under the curatorship of new owners Amaya, PokerStars as well as Full Tilt Poker have made the necessary steps to re-enter the US market place. Having recently acquired the relevant licenses from New Jersey gambling regulators the sites once again look set to offer online poker to US citizens, albeit only ones that play within the borders of New Jersey State lines. However, as much as the re-entrance has been applauded by many an online poker fan, some are not as happy to see the two poker websites re-emergence in the good old US of A as others are. One such individual, New Jersey Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo has branded the news “an insult”.
Caputo, a democrat and Chairman of the Assembly’s Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee, has said that it has been far too easy for PokerStars to make its return and is demanding a more rigorous review of all the company’s business dealings, past, present and future. He went on to highlight that, despite the new ownership under the banner of the Amaya Group, PokerStars co-founder Isai Scheinberg, is still a man, “a fugitive”, with and outstanding federal indictment from the DOJ (Department of Justice) who indicted numerous individuals on the day poker players in the US dubbed “Black Friday”. Of course, now that the $4.9 Billion takeover has been completed and the Scheinbergs have been “conveniently” removed from the equation – and PokerStars re-entrance is likely to boost an industry that has fallen short of its pre-regulation expectations – Caputo has stilled called the online poker websites an “unwelcome bad actor” in New Jersey.
“To allow Amaya, which may be a legitimate company, to simply purchase assets and people that are the fruits of a poisonous tree, an enterprise that drew indictments from the Federal Law Enforcement while profiteering handsomely, and let them operate in New Jersey would be an insult everyone who has gone under scrutiny to work or do business in the casino industry over the past 30 years” admonished Assemblyman Caputo.
As much as the Assemblyman has criticized the imminent re-arrival of the two poker sites, there are those, the vast majority, that have welcomed the news. Many hope the sites will reinvigorate a stumbling market and bring players back to the state. The players in question are still making use of illegal offshore sites and the state has suffered due to it. Along with web wallet companies Neteller and PayPal also re-emerging in New Jersey, ready to offer payment solutions to the poker players, it seems New Jersey can only benefit from the re-launch of the two US sites
However, Caputo seems to disagree and went on to highlight key fragments from a speech made by New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne which highlighted the states longstanding battle with organized crime. The speech was used to highlight the importance of extremely strict state gaming regulations that are meant to prevent such criminals from thriving as they once did in the early days of Las Vegas.
On the day that saw legal casino gambling in New Jersey signed into law, Governor Byrne famously said “I’ve said it before and I will repeat it again to organized crime: Keep your filthy hands off Atlantic City! Keep the hell out of our State!”
Many in the online poker industry are confused as to the connection between the two and many an advocate of legal poker sites has laughed off the insinuations made by Assemblyman Caputo. However, he carried on his rant “New Jersey’s strict gaming laws were enacted in an effort to keep organized crime members and other unsavory characters away from the casinos. But new ownership aside, of all the online gambling outfits hoping to get a piece of the New Jersey pie, PokerStars’ hands may be the dirtiest”.
Little has been said about Amaya, a massive software company that has supplied legitimate casino platform to the likes of William Hill Casino and many a legal online gambling site, and has so far managed to dodge any attack made by the Assemblyman. It’s clear that he has one single target in mind, that of PokerStars but as much as he would like to protest against it, it looks like the online poker website, and its sister site Full Tilt Poker, may be able to open up their websites to New Jersey players as soon as October the 1st.
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