Atlantic City. Photo: Ron Miguel
The company behind online gaming giant PokerStars is going ahead with plans to buy a brick and mortar casino in Atlantic City.
The Rational Group, which owns PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, filed papers with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement asking for approval to purchase the Atlantic Club in the city.
It’s the first time an online gaming company has purchased a casino in Atlantic City.
Formerly known as the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, the Atlantic Club has struggled under its current ownership and suffered a $13.6 million operating loss in the first nine months of 2012.
If the purchase goes through, the club would receive funding through the Rational Group’s U.S. subsidiary.
Casino Would Be First Live Casino for PokerStars in U.S.
The Atlantic Club could potentially act as live hub for PokerStars in the Atlantic City area if the proposed law to authorize online gambling is passed.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has yet to act on the gambling law.
It’s unknown how much the Rational Group would pay for the Atlantic Club but it’s believed to be far less than what it was purchased for in 2005 when Colony Capital LLC took over four casinos for $1.24 billion.
The Atlantic Club was valued at $513 million in 2005. It's been rumored the purchase price in 2012 was $50 million.