The world’s largest online poker website PokerStars recently announced that it will start operations in the United States once more from the 21st of March 2016. PokerStars was granted an online poker license in September last year by the state of New Jersey enabling the company to enter the United States once again after it was banned back in 2011 during the infamous Black Friday operation.
David Baazov, chairman and CEO of PokerStars’ parent company Amaya Inc made the announcement disclosing the date of its official entry into New Jersey last week.
In a statement David Baazov said
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.
Currently, only residents located in New Jersey will be able to gamble on the online poker website. This will be New Jersey’s 18th online poker website and is expected to revive the struggling online poker market in the garden state. The PokerStars website will undergo testing by state regulators before it goes live and will offer online table games and slot machine games in addition to poker.
PokerStars has partnered with Resorts AC to be eligible for the license as New Jersey gaming law requires online providers to partner with land based casinos. A live poker room with PokerStars-branding on the casino’s premises is currently under discussion as PokerStars is typically known to use live poker rooms as support for its marketing efforts.
The September approval was a culmination of a long process for the company which started its efforts to enter the New Jersey market six years ago. In 2012 it attempted to enter New Jersey by acquiring The Atlantic Club, a casino in the Atlantic City but that bid failed. It tried again in 2013 after partnering with Resorts AC but legal issues once again hampered the process.
The situation improved after Amaya acquired PokerStars in 2014. Given the importance of U.S market, Amaya has been pursuing the approval since then and had to battle a lot of opposition in the process.
Online gaming revenue in New Jersey stood at $149 million in 2015 which was an increase of 21 percent when compared to the previous year. But that forms less than 6 percent of the entire gambling revenue which is generated by the eight casinos operational in Atlantic City.
It is believed by many that the only way to grow the online market is to increase the player base which would lead to better prize pools.