24Jun
Wynn and PokerStars Deal Called Off

A few months ago, Wynn and PokerStars were bosom buddies. One could imagine these two companies holding hands and frolicking in a field of daisies. Brick and mortar casinos were pretty much racing to sign a deal with a big online poker site in preparation for the “inevitable” legalization of online poker. But now, with the tables turned, it seems that they want nothing more to do with the outlawed sites, and Wynn is the first to break off the engagement.

Tentative, he says

The Wynn and PokerStars partnership seemed to be a match made in heaven. Two very powerful poker beacons merging together to bring service to the United States of America – well, it was a nice dream while it lasted anyway. However, PokerStars was brought down by several pegs when the US Justice Department decided to smite it with the iron hand of justice. The domain for PokerStars was seized and its bank accounts were frozen as a result of the indictment. Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn resorts, apparently wanting nothing to do with PokerStars after the incident. He admitted that they “finally became convinced, sort of hesitantly, about PokerStars, because there didn’t seem to be any interest in the government to enforce restrictions on the game of poker.” He even went so far as to say that their deal with PokerStars was “Very tentative and conditional”. Apparently, the deal is off now that PokerStars is down in the dumps. Fair-weather friend? Indeed.

The Possibilities

Wynn and PokerStars weren’t the only ones being overly chummy over the past few months. Some online poker sites have also made deals with brick and mortar casinos in preparation for the legalization of online poker in the US. No announcements have been made regarding the deals between the others, but it’s widely believed that the brick and mortar casinos are now in a precarious spot because they had joined themselves with online poker sites. Stations might want to get out of their deal with Full Tilt Poker after this as well, but they have yet to announce anything. What’s going to be interesting to see, though, is Full Tilt and PokerStars getting out of hot water and actually being pronounced as ‘not guilty’. If they do get into the US market, it’s unlikely that these deals will be reinstated, and Wynn might just have made a horrible decision. Still, nothing’s set in stone for now, and it’s going to be interesting – though slightly horrifying – to see how the whole affair will play out.

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