Entries in Atlantic City (2)


PokerStars' Bid to Buy Casino Could Signal Gambling Gold Rush

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A move by the online gaming giant PokerStars to buy an Atlantic City, N.J., casino could signal a gold rush for the gambling industry, according to industry watchers.

Online companies are expected to be scrambling for land and casinos in states like Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, which recently passed laws allowing online gambling if it is affiliated with in-state casinos.  Similar bills have also been introduced in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

PokerStars, part of the online gambling corporation Rational Group, based in the U.K., struck a deal earlier this year to buy the Atlantic Club, an 800-room hotel and casino on the Atlantic City boardwalk, according to paperwork filed with the state's division of gaming enforcement.

The move came after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a law on Feb. 26 allowing online gambling for residents as long as the games were hosted by in-state casinos located in Atlantic City.

The company, which was previously indicted by the Department of Justice for offering online gambling to U.S. residents, wants to legally operate its website and the casino, according to its owners.  They reportedly paid about $30 million for the casino.

"In a nutshell, the future of gaming will require a mix of online and offline expertise," Eric Hollreiser, spokesman for PokerStars, told ABC News in an email.  "We are the world's largest online poker company and one of the largest producers of live poker tournaments in the world, which we produce in many of the world's best known casinos."

Hollreiser said that the proposed business model would help drive online gamers into casinos for live tournaments, and remind casino-goers to log on and game at home until their next visit.

"We drive traffic from our online tournaments to our major casino partners around the world.  This drives a poker tourism business in cities such as London, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, (and) Rio," he said.  "The traffic runs both ways as we introduce new audiences to poker in these live tournaments."

PokerStars is awaiting approval from the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the state's Casino Control Commission.  If it goes through, it could represent the first time a gaming website has transformed into owning and operating a hotel and casino.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Casino Suing Gamblers Who Won $1.5 Million, Blames Unshuffled Decks of Cards

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) -- A New Jersey casino has sued a group of gamblers who won $1.5 million after they allegedly realized the eight decks of cards used in a game of mini baccarat were not pre-shuffled.

The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, N.J., filed suit against the gamblers and playing card company Gemaco after 14 players collectively won $1,536,700 in 41 winning hands.

As the same sequence of cards kept appearing April 30, the players increased their bets from $10 to $5,000, the casino alleged.

"The gamblers unlawfully took advantage of the Golden Nugget when they caught onto the pattern and ... by passing money to fellow gamblers in order to place bets in excess of posted betting limits," the casino said in a statement.

In a lawsuit filed in New Jersey Superior Court, the casino cited gambling regulations that state gaming odds must be fair for both sides.

The Golden Nugget is seeking a return of the $558,900 it paid out to several of the players and the nearly $1 million worth of chips.

Benjamin Dash, attorney for the gamblers, said his clients, who did not know each other, were "playing the game lawfully."

After paying out a portion of the winnings, the casino managers became suspicious. Convinced they were watching a "sophisticated swindling and cheating scheme," they refused to cash in the remaining $1 million in chips.

No evidence of a scheme was found. On May 1, the Golden Nugget said it learned by "direct admission" from Gemaco's CEO that the decks used in the baccarat game were not shuffled, despite being touted as pre-shuffled, certified decks.

ABC News was unable to reach Gemaco for comment.

Three of the gamblers filed a countersuit against the casino, alleging they were discriminated against because of their Chinese heritage.

"All of the players were Asian [and] none of their chips were honored," Dash said. "In New Jersey, a chip is evidence of a debt."

After the win, Dash said, one of his clients was assaulted when he answered the door of his hotel room.

The man was pinned against a wall and his belongings were searched, Dash said. He was then held in a room without access to food, water or an interpreter, according to allegations in the countersuit, which identifies no particular assailant.

The Golden Nugget called the claims "completely false."

"[We] would never discriminate against anyone, including the Asian community," the casino said in a statement. "In fact, the Golden Nugget designed and built an Asian gaming area and restaurant to specifically attract Asian guests to the casino."

The case will be heard Aug. 31.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio