David Baazov, the chief executive officer of Amaya Gaming, the company that owns PokerStars had predicted that PokerStars would enter New Jersey before the end of 2015 and true to his predictions, New Jersey regulators have finally issued an online poker license to the biggest online poker website in the world.
There has been a lot of opposition to PokerStars because of its earlier exit from the U.S market during the infamous Black Friday crackdown. In September, David Rebuck, director of New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement had stated that PokerStars might have to wait for awhile to obtain its license because of the on-going investigation into Amaya Gaming.
However, it appears that New Jersey regulators have been satisfied with the application process and were happy to provide PokerStars with a license and hope that the introduction of the biggest online poker brand in New Jersey will revive the stagnated online poker market and bring in a lot more revenue.
New Jersey senator Ray Lesniak who is a big supporter of PokerStars and someone who has campaigned aggressively for the online poker industry was extremely happy to learn that PokerStars has been granted a license. In a statement, Lesniak said
It’s huge for Atlantic City because PokerStars’ plans are to promote Atlantic City along with its iGaming platform. The other operators are just promoting iGaming. PokerStars will bring attractions to Atlantic City, concerts to promote their brand, and maybe even live poker tournaments after an Internet elimination round. The potential is unlimited because they have the gravitas to have a substantial impact.
PokerStars has formed an agreement with Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino to launch into the garden state and has committed to investing $10 million to open out a high profile PokerStars branded poker room in Resorts Casino. Although Resorts Casino was the first casino to launch in Atlantic City, it has struggled over the past few years and is currently ranked at the bottom in terms of revenue generated by Atlantic City’s eight operating casinos.
Las Vegas Sands Chairman and billionaire Sheldon Adleson who is against the legalization of online poker in the U.S. and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were accused of stopping the entry of PokerStars into New Jersey. Their efforts now appear to be in vain as PokerStars has finally managed to meet all the requirements of the Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and will now have a better chance of launching in other states in America.
PokerStars is yet to confirm when it will launch its online website in New Jersey but it will most likely be before the end of 2015.