Christie Accused of Blocking PokerStars

Christie Accused of Blocking PokerStars

Monday, 16 February 2015

New Jersey's Governor, Chris Christie, is being accused of using his position of power to block the launch of PokerStars in the US.

According to a recent report by Business Insider's Hunter Walker, a number of critics allege that Christie, who has longstanding relationship with Sheldon Adelson, has been manipulating certain political departments in New Jersey in an effort to hamper the site's progression into the States.

Although little evidence of the claims has come to light as of yet, New Jersey senator Ray Lesniak and Unite Here Local 54 union President Bob McDevitt are confident that Christie is the main reason for PokerStars' problems in the Garden State.

"Christie put a stop to it. With a high degree of confidence it's apparent that's exactly what has happened," said Lesniak.

Adding to Lesniak's suspicions, McDevitt stated that PokerStars should have been up and running by now. In fact, given that numerous projected launches have been suddenly cancelled at the last minute, McDevitt is certain that something or someone is delaying the process.

"My impression was that PokerStars should have been already up and operating long before this point. My understanding is that it was the attorney general's office and the governor who are holding up the approvals," said McDevitt.

In addition to the claims made by Lesniak and McDevitt, Walker has also collected a selection of anonymous comments from political insiders that didn't want to be named, including:

• "There's no reason that the deal shouldn't have gone through. But the government's holding back," said one source.

• "I think politics has played a role in it," said another insider.

• "There is no question in my mind that Sheldon Adelson is the reason why this hasn't moved forward, and that's the only reason," added a final source.

As yet there has been no official comment on the allegations from anyone connected to Christie or PokerStars; however, it doesn't look like the issue will be going away any time soon. A number of mainstream outlets have already covered the story and with Christie contemplating a presidential campaign, his relationship with Sheldon Adelson could come under scrutiny and this could, ultimately, bode well for the US online poker community and PokerStars in the coming months.

Tags: New Jersey, Chris Christie, regulation, America