GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 25 - June 2013

Ultimate Poker launches first regulated real-money gaming site in Nevada By Aaron Todd S tation Casinos’ online poker room, Ultimate Poker, became the first online gaming site reg- ulated in the United States to accept a real-money wager on April 30. Three days later, the site had registered play- ers from all 50 states and had dealt more than 100,000 hands. The site’s first multi-table tourna- ment sold out all 200 available seats on its fifth day of operation. “We’re seeing great response,” Ultimate Poker Chairman Tom Breitling told the Las Vegas Review-Journal . There have been several problems with the launch, however. Only people physically located in Nevada are legally allowed to play for real money on the site, and several players reported having difficulty getting past the site’s geolocation barriers, despite the fact that they were inside state borders. Later, the site severed its relationship with iova- tion, a company that was linked to Ultimate Bet, which was racked by a cheating scandal in 2008. While Ultimate Poker remains the only online pok- er room regulated by the state as of press time, of- ficials at Caesars are hoping to launch prior to the start of the 2013 World Series of Poker. “We’re hard at work completing the necessary steps to bring it to market,” said Caesars Entertainment Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky in the WSOP’s annual conference call. “When we have it right and we have all the ap- propriate sign offs, we’ll be ready to go. We intend to be in this business 100 years from now, so for us, it’s not about when we start. We just have a lot of boxes to check off to meet the requirements. It won’t be too much longer.” PokerStars beat in court, Atlantic Club can pursue other suitors By Aaron Todd P okerStars will no longer have exclusive nego- tiating rights with the Atlantic Club Casino in New Jersey, and the Atlantic City casino is now pursuing other possible buyers. PokerStars’ parent company, The Rational Group, reportedly offered to purchase the Atlantic Club for $15 million and had paid $11 million to keep the Boardwalk property afloat. Colony Capital, which owns the property, has asked for the re- maining $4 million as a termination fee. Many in the U.S. casino industry had questioned PokerStars’ suitability to obtain a New Jersey gam- ing license. The online poker room and its owners were indicted by the Department of Justice two years ago for bank fraud and money laundering. While the case against the company was settled for $547 million, the case against PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg remains open. And according to court documents filed by Colony Capital, Scheinberg was directly involved in nego- tiations for the purchase of the Atlantic Club, de- spite the fact that the settlement with PokerStars required him to have no involvement with the business operations of the company whatsoever. “For Mr. Scheinberg to be updated on the licens- ing process in New Jersey and to have a phone call with Mr. Matejevich, were entirely within the de- fined scope of Mr. Scheinberg’s role with respect to PokerStars,” the company said in a brief filed with New Jersey Superior Court. Others, however, do not agree. “I think most people would say negotiating terms of a sale and having the communications he did would have constituted management activities,” said Chicago attorney and former federal pros- ecutor Mark Rotert in a story in the New Jersey Star-Ledger . “So, I certainly think it provides the government with a basis to complain to the court that this agreement has been breached.” 7 Webmaster News