PokerStars parent company Rational Group has formally abandoned its pursuit to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel.
The New Jersey regulator confirmed late last week that it had received a letter from a lawyer representing Rational indicating that the company was withdrawing its petition. A spokesperson for PokerStars later confirmed to the press that it was no longer pursing the acquisition.
The decision is more a formality, given that the group has found another way into the New Jersey online gaming market: It announced a partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel in early July. It is understood to be one of 37 to have applied for a license to be involved in real-money online gaming in the state.
Pokerstars had previously entered into an agreement to acquire the troubled boardwalk casino in January of this year. A month later, New Jersey governor Chris Christie signed the state’s online gambling bill into law. In April, pokerStars filed an interim license application; its approval was a condition of the sale.
However, just two weeks later, the Atlantic Club pulled out of the deal. Rational filed a lawsuit and was granted a temporary restraining order. The casino claimed it was unaware of PokerStars’ past and that the group had missed key filing deadlines; the court ultimately lifted the restraining order and allowed the Club to walk away from its deal.
This litigation will continue, the press of Atlantic City reported. Eleven million dollars of a total $15m was already paid to the casino; Rational Group wants this back. The Atlantic Club contends that it is still owed the remaining $4m.