PokerStars New Jersey will finally go live after months of uncertainty, but only if it successfully meets the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement’s (DGE) testing procedure.
Following months of speculation, hope, and uncertainty, PokerStars announced in September 2015 that it had been granted a conditional iGaming license by New Jersey’s DGE.
At the time, the operator didn’t have an official start date for when its New Jersey platform would go live, but rumors indicated that it would be within the first half of 2016.
While the naysayers still took this announcement with a dose of skepticism, PokerStars appears to have delivered on its promise by announcing this week that it will go live on March 21.
According to an official press release, PokerStarsnj.com will undergo a testing period with the DGE at the start of March, after which a brief beta testing period with a small number of players will get underway.
And if all that goes off without a hitch, the platform will then be given the green light to go live to the masses on March 21.
Under the licensing conditions set out by the DGE, all iGaming sites in New Jersey must have a live casino partner and base their servers (servers dedicated to its New Jersey sites) within the state’s borders.
PokerStars’ New Jersey partner is Resorts Atlantic City, and once the launch date was announced, the casino’s owner Morris Bailey hailed it as the next generation of iGaming in the Garden State.
“With PokerStars joining that portfolio, Resorts is poised to offer players the best online and brick and mortar casino experiences anywhere,” said Bailey.
While PokerStars’ primary focus is its online operation, reports stemming back to 2013 have suggested that the operator is also looking to invest $10 million in a new live poker room inside Resorts.
Although this project hasn’t been finalized, the expectation is that it will become something of a base for PokerStars in the US, much like its poker room inside London’s Hippodrome Casino is for its British platform.
As part of Resorts’ flourishing relationship with PokerStars, it launched a dedicated iGaming Lounge in April 2015 with the intention of making it an official hub for those wanting to join PokerStars New Jersey.
As for the wider impact of PokerStarsnj going live in the Garden State, many have speculated that this could be the shot in the arm that’s been needed. Although the latest financial reports were positive for the casino operators, poker revenues continued to slide in January.
According to the stats, January 2016 saw online poker revenue drop by 6.4 percent year-on-year to $2.1 million.
Coming into an economy on a downswing isn’t something PokerStars will likely relish. But with national news outlets like ABC already reporting on its launch, it appears there is still residual power left in the brand.
If it can successfully remind New Jersey residents of the status it held in the US prior to UIGEA, it could not only make PokerStars the number one platform in the Garden State, but boost the overall iGaming economy there as well.
Shuffle up and deal.