PokerStars Earns Approval in NJ; Makes Software Changes

PokerStars has finally earned the right to operate in the United States, thanks to the approval by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. It has taken more than a year for the application of PokerStars, owned by Amaya Gaming, to be reviewed and finally approved. The date for launch has not been announced, but with approval it is only a matter of time before the brand is back in operation.

Amaya Gaming was given license approval to be able to run PokerStars in the state of New Jersey as part of a partnership with Resorts AC, a casino located in the state. In New Jersey, online poker sites have to be partnered with land-based gaming facilities in order to be eligible for operations. The site has been partnered for some time with Resorts in anticipation of licensing approval.

CEO and Chairman of Amaya Gaming, David Baazov, stated that the company is very pleased to add New Jersey to the list of regulated markets that has recognized the suitability of PokerStars and Full Tilt to offer online gaming for real money. Baazov said:

David Baazov Quote

Players in New Jersey will now only have to wait and see when the brand will launch. It would not be surprising to see PokerStars go live by the end of the year as they have been preparing for some time. However, the brand could decide to launch in January to get a fresh start on 2016.

In additional PokerStars news, the brand has just announced a new policy that is more restrictive in nature in regards to use of third party services and tools. The policy began yesterday and applies to many of the popular supplementary software programs used by members of the site.

Providers of such software tools have made changes to stay on the whitelist of approved software for PokerStars. However, there are still some tools that are blacklisted as well as prohibited at the site. Back in June, a tool was pushed into the limelight as players felt the tool gave the user an unfair advantage. The user who created the software was Skier_5 and after the response of other players, the changes were brought to life by officials who are working to change the way players can use software, making a fair environment for every member.

Steve Day, the manager of the PokerStars Poker Room, announced just days after the players began complaining of the software that the site will be working towards adding further restrictions to 3rd party software in the future.

With the new policy, there are restrictions on reference material that is used during play. The materials used must be considered ‘basic in nature’ and PokerStars has provided a list of what will and will not be accepted. If a software program is complex, it will most likely not be allowed.

HUDs have come under fire and are no longer allowed to display non-numeric data. The information of a hand cannot be updated during a street of a hand as well, as this is considered an unfair advantage. Colors used for display of information is limited to three to further restrict the data offered.

PokerStars is working hard to maintain an environment that is attractive and comfortable for recreational players. Online poker has continued to move towards a more recreational direction, catering more to the regular player rather than pro as has been done in the past.