The owner of internet poker giants PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker has lost a pivotal court case in a New Jersey court room, in which the judge ruled that The Atlantic Club casino can terminate its sales contract with the cyber betting firm.
The ruling clears the way for The Atlantic Club to bail on the deal and find a new buyer. Originally, PokerStars parent company The Rational Group agreed to purchase the nearly bankrupt casino for $15 million. To date, Rational has already paid $11 million of that purchase price to The Atlantic Club.
In addition to the $15 million purchase price, the casino agreed to bail out the casino's employee pension fund by putting forth $32 million as well as invest in future upgrades.
Rational has a vested interest in seeing the deal come through, as the firm is keen on getting its feet wet in the newly legalized online gambling sector that the Garden State recently legalized.
Speaking to the court during arguments Atlantic Club lawyer Tariq Mundiya said, "They (Rational) took the risk they could get it (the licensing) done. They couldn't get it done, and now they want to rewrite the contract. Once that date came and went, Your Honor, all bets were off."
Atlantic Club's CEO Michael Frawley spoke after the ruling, saying "We are now free to build on the tremendous opportunity provided by online gaming."
It is unknown whether or not Rational will continue to negotiate with The Atlantic Club, or whether the firm will cut its losses and invest in another casino.
As we have throughout the duration of this story, Casino Listings will keep up on any new developments.