PokerStars to Launch This March in New Jersey

It seems like forever ago that PokerStars began the journey to try and gain licensing in the state of New Jersey. For years, PokerStars has tried to get back into the United States, by way of Atlantic City. The state of New Jersey began offering online poker in 2013 and PokerStars quickly partnered up with a land based provider. After several major setbacks and coming under new ownership, PokerStars now is set to begin offering services in the state beginning on March 21st.

At the time that online poker began in New Jersey, owner of PokerStars, the Rational Group, tried to purchase the Atlantic Club, to have a land based venue in place. This deal fell through and PokerStars eventually partnered with the Resorts Casino Hotel. This deal was put in place in the hopes that PokerStars would be able to gain an operational license and be offering services by the middle of 2014.

However, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement was not ready to give PokerStars the go-ahead and the process for licensing would be dragged out. By this time, the brand had been acquired by Amaya Gaming, which gave PokerStars a strong backer to be approved in the state. In the past, New Jersey did not want to work with the brand as officials felt the poker site was still involved with the Scheinberg family, who were part of the Black Friday scandal.

By the time Amaya Gaming was in control, with David Baazov in postion to help PokerStars, the action was set in motion. Amaya purchased PokerStars and Full Tilt for $4.9 billion and then began once again to try and see the brand gain licensing. By the fall of last year, an extended investigation into PokerStars was completed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement and PokerStars was given licensing approval.

The brand then had to finish up certain requirements before they would be allowed to offer services. This would include software testing. Officials took a great deal of time to ensure they would feel comfortable with the brand offering services in the state before giving the go ahead.

Now, PokerStars is set to go live by the 21st of March. In partnership with Resorts Casino, PokerStars Casino will go live and many are questioning how this will affect the gaming market of New Jersey. The online casino side of New Jersey has done quite well despite drops in online poker gaming revenues. But adding such a well-known brand as PokerStars into the mix, the state should do even better.

With poker considerations, PokerStars only competitors will be the Caesars/888 partnership and Borgata/Party. It will not be surprising to see PokerStars quickly take the lead as the top provider of online poker gaming within the state. Many analysts are waiting to see just how the brand will affect revenues as well as player traffic, thinking that that state may see a resurgence in poker gaming online.

Also to consider is that fact that with the launch of PokerStars in the state, it opens up the brand to potential gaming in other states. The brand is already partnered with several card rooms and Indian tribes in the state of California, despite the fact that no legislation has been passed to legalize and regulate online poker. The brand has partnerships in place for when this time comes.

For now, poker players anxiously await to see PokerStars go live so they can enjoy what the brand has to offer, from online poker gaming to casino games. Only a few more weeks until PokerStars dream of reentering the United States becomes a reality.