The parent company of internet poker giant PokerStars has spoken out regarding the closure of the Atlantic Club, a casino which spurned the poker firm's acquisition attempt earlier this year and ultimately had to declare bankruptcy.
The release by the company was in the form of a blog, and read: "It's always sad when hard-working people lose their jobs, especially during the holiday season This is particularly sad, though, because it simply didn't have to happen. At this time last year, PokerStars reached an agreement that would secure a new future for the casino, save the jobs of 1,800 employees and inject new blood, new technology and new finances into the Atlantic City casino economy."
"As spring approached, the economic prospects for the Atlantic Club appeared to brighten even more with the newly-enacted i-gaming legislation and the promise of summer tourism business on the horizon," the company blog continues. That's when the casino's then-owners gambled with their employees' future. In hopes that the improved economic picture could lead to more rewards for them, they walked away from our contract rather than wait another few months for the regulatory approval process to be completed."
"Now, the Atlantic Club will be stripped for parts and its employees will be put out onto the Boardwalk in search of new jobs in 2014. PokerStars does not share the vulture-like management practices that led to the coming job losses and disappointment of thousands of people in New Jersey with the closure of the Atlantic Club."
The two groups had agreed to an acquisition deal in late 2012, but that deal was scuttled when PokerStars parent company the Rational Group could not get a New Jersey gaming license by a deadline set by the Atlantic Club. Rational attempted to negotiate an extension, but the Atlantic Club rejected this and walked away with millions of dollars that Rational put down as a deposit. The Atlantic Club was then forced to declare bankruptcy late last year, going into a liquidation auction.
Both Caesars and Tropicana bought the casino last month and will dismantle it for the slots, table games, and property.
The blog went on to state that the poker giant is still looking to enter the US gaming market. The group's Communications Director Eric Hollreiser said, "We're active in many states that are considering online poker and/or online gaming regulations and are discussing opportunities as they arise and as legislation progresses."