Friday, February 26, 2016 : POKERSTARS TO OPEN IN NEW JERSEY MARCH 21
Entry of online poker giant set to shake up the market.
Big news breaking late Thursday in a press release from parent Amaya Inc., is that Pokerstars has been approved to offer New Jersey online gambling fans all the action they can handle from March 21 this year. Check out the Special Offers
Pokerstars was last operational in the United States – under different ownership and management – in 2011, exiting after the Justice Department actions on Black Friday.
Pokerstars, which boasts a 100 million-strong global player base, will become the Garden State's eighteenth online gambling site at www.pokerstarsnj.com. Its operations are under the oversight of the New Jersey Directorate of Gaming Enforcement, and only players logging in from locations within the state will be accepted.
The New Jersey operations will offer online poker and a full range of online casino games.
There will be some final regulatory testing before its debut, but that is not expected to create any problems. The Amaya statement advises:
"Amaya currently expects to conduct an interim testing period with the DGE and a beta period for a limited player base beginning in mid-March."
Thanking Atlantic City partner Resorts Hotel Casino for its support, Amaya chairman and CEO David Baazov said Thursday:
"We're also thankful to Morris Bailey and the fine team at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City and look forward to a successful collaboration. PokerStars is the global leader in online poker and trusted by its customers for its robust and innovative technology, world-class security and game integrity. We are honored and excited to now bring these experiences to New Jersey."
It's been a long, expensive and arduous struggle for Pokerstars to finally gain entry to the New Jersey online gambling market; the company made two attempts to achieve licensed status in 2013 and was given a clean bill of health under its new management, with reservations regarding past legal problems prompting the DGE to impose a suspension for two years.
Those reservations, which included the suitability of four executives who have since exited, have now been addressed.
New Jersey requires that Internet gambling companies partner with an existing brick-and-mortar casino in Atlantic City in order to offer online gambling, and this requirement has seen Pokerstars face disappointments on its New Jersey project.
Our readers will recall that these included an abortive and expensive attempt to acquire the Atlantic City-licensed Atlantic Club Casino Resort, a deal that collapsed in 2013 when the delays in Pokerstars licensing hit a deadline in the agreement, giving Atlantic Club the excuse to walk away…and keep a Pokerstars advance payment. Atlantic Club subsequently went bust.
The online poker giant next turned to Atlantic City's Resorts Casino Hotel in a partnership agreement, again contingent on Pokerstars obtaining a DGE licence. With the licensing hiatus continuing, Resorts launched its online gambling operation last year with a Sportech-NYX Gaming alliance, but remains committed to the Pokerstars deal.
Morris Bailey, owner of Resorts, said in a statement: "Resorts is poised to offer players the best online and bricks & mortar casino experiences anywhere. We expect that the launch of PokerStars will further spur the positive momentum we have already made in the New Jersey online gaming market."
The New Jersey online gambling market has been slowly but steadily building momentum, with current figures revealing a 21 percent year on year increase in revenues to $149 million in 2015
The inhibiting factor is the limited size of the player pool in a state-ring-fenced legal environment. There are only three US states where online gambling has been legalised thus far, limiting the possibilities for state-to-state player sharing deals.
Amaya has pledged that its New Jersey operation will be managed to the same high standards of consumer protection, fairness and security applied across its global activities.
"The PokerStars offering in New Jersey at www.pokerstarsnj.com will utilize the same stringent verification, technology, account segregation and responsible gaming practices to regulate player activity that the brand has pioneered elsewhere globally," the presser promises, adding that the New Jersey action will be delivered across desktop, tablet and mobile platforms.