Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley opposed the repeal question, but says she welcomes allowing the voters to truly have a voice in the issue. (Image: Boston World)
In Massachusetts, casino companies have actually faced a few battles in order to build resorts in the state. There have been town-by-town campaigns to win over local communities, and in the truth of the Greater Boston area, a competition that is fierce only one license. Now, operators will have an additional challenge ahead of them before they can rest easy: a statewide repeal vote that could end casino gambling in Massachusetts before it starts.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that voters will be able to see the casino law repeal question on a November ballot, potentially rolling back a 2011 law that legalized casinos in the state tuesday. That move leaves potential casino operators in an awkward position, as they may receive licenses, but not know until later on this year whether they can actually do anything with them.
Unanimous Decision Sets Question on Ballot
The court reached their decision unanimously, pointing out that supporters of the repeal had succeeded in collecting more than enough signatures to place the relevant question on the ballot. The work was indeed opposed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, now a Democratic candidate for governor, whom rejected issue a year ago because she feared it could violate the property rights of casino owners and developers.
But after hearing of this decision, Coakley appeared to be fine with the Supreme Judicial Court’s (SJC) decision.
‘i am pleased that the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled on this presssing issue of great interest to voters in Massachusetts,’ Coakley said. ‘ I am pleased that they have made a decision that now lets this go directly to the ballot. So we are working as we speak to certify the question.’
Coakley did include that she planned to vote from the proposition, as did Governor Deval Patrick.
‘It is really what it is,’ Patrick said. ‘I’m going to vote for keeping expanded gaming on the books. I think it’s a balance that is great how we expand gaming and how we let our neighborhood communities make decisions that are right for them.’
Fierce Battle Expected
Polling in the issue is sparse so far. A Suffolk University poll earlier this month found that only 37 percent of voters in Massachusetts approved of gambling enterprises, but another from the Boston world unearthed that 52 percent of most likely voters would still vote against a repeal. The shaky ground on which the casinos stands means that the repeal vote could fall to the campaigns on both sides.
While not all casino firms commented in the decision instantly, those who did said that they would work difficult to convince voters to let the gambling enterprises be built. Mohegan Sun released a declaration saying that they would reveal to voters that the statutory law was ‘good for workers, good for the economy and good for the commonwealth.’ Penn National, which has already won the state’s only slots parlor license, stated they would be doing a campaign that is informational.
‘For us, this campaign will be about training, it’s going to be about informing voters about most of the jobs that have reached stake here,’ said Penn spokesperson Eric Schippers.
Meanwhile, casino opponents will also be gearing up for a fight. That may mean that many neighborhood anti-casino teams is banded together to combat the high priced campaigns the casinos are expected to run, with Repeal the Deal likely to be an opposition group that is leading.
Bwin.Party Not on the market, Says Board
Chief executive of bwin.party Norbert Teufelberger and his board deny rumors that the ongoing company is buying sell-off (Image: onlinecasinoarchives.com)
Bwin.Party is denying rumors that it is looking for the acquisition, or even to sell off some of its assets. The company happens to be the main topic of a flurry of speculation following articles this by Bloomberg which claimed that it was looking to sell off all or part of its business in order to revive its flagging fortunes week.
Bwin.Party, through its relationship with the Borgata, may be the largest provider of online poker in New Jersey, with over 40 percent of the market share, but its operations have been faltering in European countries recently. The writer of the Bloomberg piece, Christopher Palmeri, said that he had received the information from ‘two individuals with knowledge for the matter’ who wished to stay nameless. Bwin.Party had hired Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) to think about its options, claimed the sources, and would make a decision within two months.
The company itself waded in to quash the rumors, stating categorically that the company is not for sale while Bwin.Party’s shares, which had been declining of late, climbed by 4 percent on the London Stock Exchange in the wake of the rumors.
No Plans to offer
‘The Board of Bwin.Party has noted the present speculation in the media regarding a possible break-up or sale associated with company,’ read the company’s official statement. ‘Since his visit as Chairman last thirty days, Philip Yea has been using the executive management group on ways in which the Group increases shareholder value, nonetheless we can verify that we now have no plans to break-up or sell the company.’
Palmeri speculated in the Bloomberg article that the supposed sell-off had been prompted by a difficult 2013, which saw revenue across all gambling operations tumble 19 percent to €652.4m ($887,971,854).
He quoted a meeting with Bwin Chief Financial Officer Martin Weigold in March in which Weigold had blamed ‘regulatory and competitive challenges in a number of markets’ for a slump in revenue, and myfreepokies.com added that the business had been searching to ‘divest non-core and surplus assets.’
Palmeri also wondered or perhaps a purchase of PokerStars to Amaya Gaming and its prospective return to the US market had rattled Bwin.Party. PokerStars, he wrote, ‘could accelerate the wobbly start for online betting in three states, while introducing more competition for Bwin and others for all gamblers.’
2013 A Turning Point
However, Bwin.Party, itself the product of a merger between pioneering online sportsbook and poker web sites Bwin and Party Poker, correspondingly, recently said that it would be seeking to consolidate its market-leading position in there over the next 12 months, also getting into other states that might legalize online gambling within their borders, such as Pennsylvania which it described as a ‘significant business possibility. it was very pleased with its poker operations in New Jersey, and’
Talking in response to your company’s disappointing 2013, chief executive Norbert Teufelberger ended up being recently positive: ‘2013 was a challenging year for our business, but it addittionally marked a turning point as we increased our focus on regulated and to-be-regulated markets, began to roll-out brand new and refreshed versions of our mobile and desktop items, and commenced the change of our technology infrastructure through the adoption of the Agile development methodology,’ he stated. ‘Having streamlined the design and size of our business we’ve got the foundations to go back our business to sustainable growth.’
PokerStars Could Return to New Jersey Market by Fall
Founders Mark and Isai Scheinberg, whose treatment from the PokerStars equation might facilitate an entry in to the New Jersey market. (Image: onlinpokerreport.com)
PokerStars’ carefully orchestrated sale to Amaya Gaming for $4.9 billion looks want it might well pay back for the world’s biggest poker site. The ink was nevertheless running down the page on that $4.9 billion agreement when New Jersey gaming officials announced that they had met with representatives from Amaya, and this week they told the Associated Press that they were optimistic that PokerStars could be able to join the New Jersey market because early as this fall.
Documents in the Loop
Officials from the brand new Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), which regulates and licenses gambling in the state, said that Amaya has begun submitting the documents that are necessary nj-new Jersey regulators to utilize for circumstances license.
Into the coming months, the division is scrutinizing the post-acquisition corporate framework for the company, as well as the executive and management personnel therefore the pc software platform it self to produce sure it is in accordance with nj-new jersey regulatory standards.
PokerStars has long held designs on the New Jersey market. In 2013, anticipating legalization and regulation in the state, its moms and dad company, the Rational Group, experimented with buy the ailing Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City, in purchase to secure the acquisition of a state gaming license, and from there, it hoped, a license to work online poker after regulation. However, the deal fell through, and many months later the Atlantic Club was forced to file for bankruptcy and lay down its 1,600 staff. It was sold in for $23.4 million, to be stripped for parts december.
The reason why offered for the deal’s collapse ended up being the concerns over outstanding indictments that are federal the company’s father-son founders, Isai and Mark Scheinberg. The indictments related to PokerStars’ failure to cease providing gambling to American citizens after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 had made it illegal to do this. After Black Friday, PokerStars paid a $547 million fine to your Department of Justice, which it hoped would absolve the Scheinbergs, however the issue flared up once again when PokerStars attempted to utilize for a license in the run up to legalization.
On 11, 2013, New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) announced it would suspend its review of ‘Stars online gaming license for two years december. In a declaration that may have inspired the acquisition strategy, the DGE said:
‘The Division (within the period that is two-year may consider a request for relief to reactivate the application if significantly changed circumstances are demonstrated…the Division’s investigation of PokerStars and its affiliated entities and associated individuals is going to be resumed to evaluate suitability.’
Having removed themselves through the equation by selling to Amaya, the Scheinbergs may at last witness the ongoing company they built go back to the US.
However, at least into the full case of New Jersey, it are going to be as a software provider, not an operator, much in the way that 888 Holdings provides software to Caesars and the WSOP.com brand. PokerStars has a deal set up with Resorts World, which owns the Resorts Casino resort in Atlantic City. That relationship will remain intact, regardless of the acquisition, and Resorts has said it intends to make use of both the PokerStars and brand that is fullTilt should the outfit be provided with the chance to complete therefore.
‘We welcomed the present announcement by Amaya Gaming Group, Inc of its plans to obtain Rational which we expect will move the regulatory approval process ahead,’ said Resorts Casino Hotel owner Morris Bailey. ‘PokerStars is the leading world-wide brand in on line gaming and now we are searching forward to our future with them in New Jersey.’