PokerStars NJ to Soft Launch on March 16th

While PokerStars announced it was preparing to launch its New Jersey product on March 21st, the site has said it would first be introducing a soft launch five days ahead of that date.
As part of its experimental soft launch phase, PokerStars will restrict the number of real players on its site to just 500, whilst also imposing an 8 hours play limit during the first couple of days, rising to sixteen hours on day three, and around the clock play on March 19th/20th.
Although PokerStars exited the US market following Black-Friday in 2011, the site will nonetheless give those New Jersey players who had previously played on the site the option to either open up a completely new account, or alternatively use their old screen name when joining PokerStars NJ.
Nevertheless, converting old accounts come with a host of additional benefits. Using the “Quick Account Creation” process, for instance, will enable players to have their old Frequent Player Points (FPP) converted into the new reward currency called StarsCoins, and at the preferential rate of 1.6 per FFP, rather than the standard rate of 1-for-1. In addition, players will have the VIP status they had at the time of Black-Friday reinstated.
New Jersey iPoker Market
New Jersey has a population of almost 9 million people, and currently there are five online gambling operators in the state, just two of which operate online poker sites. Leading the market is the Caesars/WSOP/888 collaboration which has an average of 190 cash game players over a 7-day period, compared to Borgata/ with 140 players over the same period. After PokerStars launches in New Jersey, analysts are keen to discover whether the market will expand, or if PokerStars will simply end up poaching some of the customers of these other two operations.
PokerStars’ partner is the Resorts Casino Hotel, which in February 2015 became the last casino business to launch an online casino product in New Jersey. Commenting on its upcoming iPoker launch, the casino’s owner Morris Bailey commented:
“.. Resorts is poised to offer players the best online and bricks & mortar casino experiences anywhere. We expect that the launch of PokerStars will further spur the positive momentum we have already made in the New Jersey online gaming market.”

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