New Jersey’s online poker market has been struggling for over twelve months and analysts believe that the market stagnation will continue into 2016, unless something major happens that turns around New Jersey’s online poker industry.
PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world has been trying really hard to launch into New Jersey and state gaming regulators believe that the introduction of PokerStars into the New Jersey market will serve as a much needed boost to revive market fortunes. However, PokerStars is yet to obtain the required online poker license for New Jersey as the company’s chequered past prior to Black Friday has stalled the licensing process.
Amaya Inc acquired PokerStars in 2014 and since then has made a number of changes to the PokerStars brand and strategy of operations. Amaya Inc was pushing for a New Jersey licence stating that now that the ownership had changed hands, PokerStars past history should not be used as a stumbling block in the licensing process. Amaya Inc was working closely with New Jersey gaming regulators and was confident of launching PokerStars before the end of September.
That does not appear to be likely now and Amaya Inc would be happy to obtain a license before the end of 2015. New Jersey legislators have confirmed that while they are willing to move past PokerStars history, they have to consider the on-going investigation into Amaya Inc acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands.
In a statement, David Rebuck, director of New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement said :
“We’ve done 80 sworn interviews, we’ve travelled to half a dozen foreign countries. I’m not going to be the first person to sabotage the work of this Division. We’re going to do this in a very professional way, which will be published to the world, because whatever decision we come down on will be scrutinised, and some will hate it and some will love it.”
Canadian based Amaya Inc has had the authorities raid their headquarters in the past and interview a number of key executives who were involved in the acquisition process. The company had released a statement saying that the acquisition was done legally and they would offer full co-operation to the authorities. Authorities have not indicated a deadline as to when the investigation will be completed but it is very likely that PokerStars will not gain a New Jersey online poker license until the authorities give Amaya Inc a clean chit.