PokerStars Goes Live In New Jersey
Online Poker Site Receives 'Technical Approval'
After a soft launch last week, PokerStars is now live in the state of New Jersey.
Amaya Gaming, PokerStars’ parent company, said Monday that it received “technical approval” from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to go ahead with the full launch of PokerStars NJ. Amaya received a gaming license for PokerStars last fall.
“We could not be more proud to bring PokerStars to New Jersey,” said David Baazov, Chairman and CEO of Amaya, which bought PokerStars in 2014 for $4.9 billion. “Working with our partner, Resorts Casino Hotel, we look forward to providing the most exciting, innovative and secure gaming experience to New Jersey.”
In addition to its core product, PokerStars is running casino games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat and slots. All the games are only available to those physically located within Garden State borders. You also must be at least 21 years of age.
In order to offer online poker in New Jersey, PokerStars had to partner with an existing brick-and-mortar casino operator. There are eight casinos in Atlantic City after four closed in 2014. After failing to purchase an Atlantic City casino years ago, PokerStars eventually partnered with Resorts. Last month, the casino generated $1.3 million in online gambling revenue.
“This is a great day for online gaming, for state players and residents and for Atlantic City,” said Morris Bailey, owner of Resorts Casino Hotel. “Resorts has worked diligently to build a home for globally renowned brands in New Jersey and, with the addition of PokerStars, is proud to introduce yet another respected partner.”
The PokerStars launch comes just days after the Garden State legislature approved a plan to have a November referendum on whether to end Atlantic City’s casino monopoly. Many are saying that casinos in north Jersey could deal another blow to Atlantic City, resulting in additional brick-and-mortar closings. Atlantic City gaming win has been cut in half over the past decade.
PokerStars controls nearly 70 percent of the worldwide online poker market thanks to roughly 100 million registered players. For now, New Jersey’s online poker market is ring-fenced, which means that New Jersey players can only compete against other New Jersey players. That could change if the state decides to compact with another jurisdiction that licenses and taxes online poker.
As of Monday morning, PokerStars already had 24-hour peak ring-game traffic of 304 players, according to PokerScout. That was more than Borgata/Party, but less than the 360 recently seen by WSOP/888. New Jersey launched online poker in late 2013.
The launch of PokerStars comes at a time when New Jersey online casinos just saw their collective revenue increase by more than 40 percent year-over-year in February.
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