Here Comes the Bloom: PokerStars Licensed in New Jersey

October 1st, 2015 | by Brian Corlisse

PokerStars and Full Tilt to enter US iGaming market.

Is this the second coming of Jesus? David Baazov and PokerStars return to the US like the Messiah. (Image: forbes.com)

PokerStars’ highly anticipated move into the New Jersey online poker market is now a reality thanks to a recent decision by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).

The Garden State’s iGaming regulator recently released a statement explaining that it wouldn’t be rushed on the PokerStars issue; however, just a few days later the organization confirmed that Amaya, the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt, had been granted an online gaming license.

The Long Awaited Return of Poker’s Prodigal Son

Talk of PokerStars’ long awaited return to the US after a four year absence has been raging ever since New Jersey sanctioned online poker and casino gaming in 2013.

However, until this week, the speculation and predictions of those in the industry have failed to bear any fruit.

Although the NJDGE or Amaya haven’t confirmed when PokerStars or Full Tilt will go live in the US, the expectation is that much of the infrastructure necessary to facilitate a speedy set-up is already in place.

After a failed attempt to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino of Atlantic City, in January 2014, PokerStars eventually agreed to a partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel.

Already an active player in New Jersey’s online casino market thanks to a similar partnership with Sportech, Resorts should be equipped to help PokerStars go live before the close of 2015.

High Hopes for PokerStars’ Pulling Poker

As it stands, the Garden State has had 17 active gaming sites; however, the economy has, so far, failed to bloom as many predicted.

Before regulation was passed there was some suggesting that total annual revenue figures could top $500 million, unfortunately the reality has been somewhat different.

In first eight months of 2015 New Jersey iGaming generated a total of $96.7 million. Although this was a 15.6 percent improvement on the same period in 2014, the revenue is a long way short of the predictions made just two years ago.

This lackluster performance is likely to have been the major catalyst behind the DGE’s recent decision.

PokerStars is currently the largest online poker site in the world with more than 60 million registered members and many industry insiders have prophesized that the site could spark a mini Moneymaker boom within the state.

Whether or not the return to the US by PokerStars is going to be like the second coming of Jesus remains to be seen, however, judging by the reactions to the story online, many US residents are hopeful of big things in the coming months.

@Tapouttazz9: “ohh happy days when Jesus walked.”

@LowesBoyFlex: “finally I can quit college.”

@Leehjones: “Somebody fire up the @springsteen; @PokerStars is in New Jersey. #pokerstarsNJ #ThunderRoad.”

As for the head of PokerStars, David Baazov, he sees the decision as the start of a new era for online poker in New Jersey and, potentially, the US as a whole.

“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,” said Baazov.

As stated, there is currently no launch date for PokerStars or Full Tilt in New Jersey and only residents within state borders will be allowed to access the sites.

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