Battle Bettween PokerStars and AGA Turns Nasty
A nasty battle has arisen between PokerStars and the American Gaming Association (AGA) over plans to buy The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. AGA has urged New Jersey regulators to reject the bid claiming that PokerStars “was operated as a criminal enterprise” for years.
Last year PokerStars agreed to pay $547 million to the US Justice Department and $184 million to poker players overseas to settle a case alleging money laundering, bank fraud and illegal gambling. However, the company admitted no wrongdoing.
The AGA has said that it opposes PokerStars’ bid “because the integrity of the gaming industry would be gravely compromised” It claims that PokerStars is “a business built on deceit, chicanery and the systematic flouting of U.S. law.”
Furthermore, the AGA has claimed that PokerStars set up websites with domain names involving golf, shopping, pet food and other topics to hide payments for online poker transactions. Additionally it claims that a bank executive was bribed to handle the transactions.
A spokesman for PokerStars’ parent company, the Rational Group, said that the accusations are “false and defamatory”. Eric Hollreiser said, “No court has found PokerStars or the four named PokerStars executives guilty of any offenses, and neither they nor the companies face any criminal charges.”