An Atlantic City casino that was thwarted in its efforts to join the Internet gambling market is preparing to get in the game.
Resorts Casino Hotel announced partnerships late Friday with European firms Sportech and NYX Gaming to offer Internet gambling.
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They will join PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to form an online betting option that could rival New Jersey's market leaders, Borgata and Caesars Interactive.
"This is an exciting era of gaming in New Jersey, and we are confident it will be another positive steppingstone in Resorts' storied history," said Morris Bailey, the casino's owner.
Amaya Gaming Group of Canada is buying the poker sites for $4.9 billion and is in talks with New Jersey casino regulators about getting them licensed. PokerStars was suspended by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for up to two years because of legal issues surrounding some company executives, but they are stepping down as part of the sale.
PokerStars tried last year to buy the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel to gain a foothold in the state's Internet gambling market, but the deal fell apart, and the Atlantic Club shut down.
Then, in July 2013, PokerStars aligned itself with Resorts as its online partner. But shortly after that, New Jersey suspended PokerStars' application.
Now, Amaya is already licensed in New Jersey as an online platform for Caesars Interactive. David Rebuck, director of the gaming enforcement division, said he is optimistic Amaya could get approval for PokerStars by the fall.
PokerStars controlled 70 percent of the online poker market in the U.S. before a federal ban on Internet gambling was instituted. The Justice Department has since moderated its stance, allowing in-state Internet gambling that does not involve betting on sports events.
Assuming the necessary approvals have been obtained, the casino will offer gambling through the individual PokerStars and FullTilt websites, as well as through their own portal, ResortsCasino.com.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC