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New Jersey Sees Full Launch Of Web Poker

PokerStars Not One Of The Firms To Start Games


The five-day trial run for online gambling in New Jersey went successfully, as state gaming regulators decided everything was good to go for the full real-money launch today.

Six of the Atlantic City’s 12 casinos launched statewide online gambling products Tuesday.

The online poker rooms currently running in the Garden State include PartyPoker, which has teamed up with the Borgata for a, the World Series of Poker, which is owned by Caesars and utilizes the software of 888, and, which is an offshoot of Nevada-based Station Casinos.

A notable absence from the online poker offerings in the state is industry leading PokerStars, which, according to PokerScout, averages more than 20,000 cash game players every day. The firm is still awaiting licensing in New Jersey.

PokerStars was operating in the United States after the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and then was later kicked out of American cyberspace thanks to the Black Friday indictments in April 2011. PokerStars went on to settle its case with the federal government without admitting to any wrongdoing. It also acquired Full Tilt Poker.

Prior to Black Friday the firm was part of efforts to legalize online poker in Nevada, and even found a tentative deal with Wynn Resorts for online gambling in the Silver State. However, that partnership quickly disintegrated after the scandal broke.

New Jersey’s online poker plans later prompted PokerStars to seek a purchase of an Atlantic City casino. That deal also eventually collapsed.

The American Gaming Association, the commercial casino industry’s top lobbying group in the U.S., came out this spring with rhetoric to try to sway things in New Jersey. The AGA said it opposed PokerStars coming into the brick-and-mortar business “because the integrity of the gaming industry would be gravely compromised by any regulatory approval of PokerStars, a business built on deceit, chicanery, and systematic flouting of U.S. law.”

After the deal to purchase the Atlantic Club was no more, PokerStars eventually decided to partner with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The deal would allow PokerStars, if licensed, to offer online poker. The web poker giant said that it would invest $10 million into a live poker room at Resorts Casino Hotel if given the green light.

About a week ago, after it became clear PokerStars wouldn’t be approved in time for the statewide launch on Nov. 26, the firm said in a statement:

“Our conversations with [New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement] are continuing…We remain committed to working with the Division to complete the review process.”

Card Player spoke on Tuesday to New Jersey lawmaker Ray Lesniak, who spearheaded the online gambling legalization efforts in the state, about the PokerStars situation. He said that it remains up in the air with regards to the firm’s bid to gain access to his state.

“It’s strictly in the hands of the regulators, and that’s where it should be,” Lesniak said. “My legislation gave [PokerStars] the opportunity to apply for a license, but it left it in the hands of the Division of Gaming Enforcement to determine if they met the requirements. That has yet to be determined. Obviously it would be good for New Jersey to have such a huge gaming operator operating out of Atlantic City, but that cannot happen until they meet the requirements.”

When asked what he made of the AGA opposing PokerStars, Lesniak said:

“Well, it is none of their business and not their decision to make. I am sure the regulators just threw their opposition in the garbage, where it belongs, because this is a regulatory decision, not something subject to lobbying by them, or me, or anyone else for that matter.”

In addition to New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have state-sanctioned real-money web poker.



over 7 years ago

PokerStars could go .EU and nothing the DOJ could do about it! Instead they have taken the classy path, and are still rejected by short-thinkers.