PokerStars Finally Granted New Jersey iGaming LicenseOctober 1, 2015 11:39 am
In April 2011, PokerStars was forced to exit the USA’s unregulated online poker market, and in 2012 its parent company at the time, Rational Group, had to pay a $731 million settlement with the US Department of Justice for contravening the country’s restrictions on online gambling. In August 2014, Amaya Gaming subsequently purchased PokerStars and its parent company for $4.9 billion, and today it has been announced that the company has been granted a New Jersey iGaming license, setting up a much vaunted return by PokerStars to the US online gambling market.
Although the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has yet to issue an official statement on its website verifying the approval, Amaya’s CEO David Baazov has already announced the news, stating:
“We are very pleased to add New Jersey to the long list of regulated markets that have found PokerStars and Full Tilt suitable to offer real-money online gaming. I want to thank the DGE for their thorough and fair review of our business. We look forward to bringing our popular brands, innovative technology, marketing prowess and world-class security and game integrity to the growing New Jersey online gaming market.”
Both PokerStars and Full Tilt will now be able to enact their partnership arrangement with the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, and resume business in the near future. New Jersey has 17 websites offering online gambling, although the only operators currently offering iPoker include the Borgata/PartyPoker partnership, and Caesars/888/WSOP.
While New Jersey’s overall online gambling industry has continued to grow since regulation, and is presently higher by 15.6% compared to last year, online poker, on the other hand has been steadily declining and was 12% lower in August y-o-y at $1.98 million. Once PokerStars joins the market, though, analysts are expecting a much needed boost to the Garden States iPoker market.