It’s looking very likely that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will be launching in the state of New Jersey, and that the date could be as early as October 1st. There is no secret as to why Stars will now be going live in the Garden State, and that’s simply down to the fact that having been purchased by Amaya Gaming, it means that the founder of the largest online poker company in the world, Isai Scheinberg, wanted by the US authorities, will no longer be at the helm. PokerStars did in fact settle up with the DoJ and admitting doing no wrong, however the shadows cast over the company meant that access to NJ poker was not allowed....until now.
As of yet, the New Jersey Division of Gaming has not confirmed that this is in fact the case, however the reports suggest that Amaya was given preliminary approval and now has to meet, or prove, technical standards in order to receive the license. It’s unclear as to who PokerStars will actually partner up with due to the fact that Amaya has deals in place in New Jersey with several casinos, including the Golden Nugget, Caesar’s, The Borgata and the Trump Plaza, however PokerStars also had the deal in place with Resorts Casino and it could be as simple as utilizing that.
Is PokerStars in New Jersey necessarily a good thing?
Online poker is all about liquidity and player numbers, with those players creating large tourneys, driving prize pools up, and playing at cash games meaning that there’s always players at the tables, so is another online poker room, and possibly two if Full Tilt launch, a good thing for online poker in New Jersey? The answer to that one is difficult, as there’s no doubt that with the PokerStars millions, their ad campaigns will make people aware of the fact that online poker is available in the state, but out of that 9 million population, aren’t those that are interested in poker already playing somewhere?
Online poker has struggled in New Jersey and it may be a case that if Stars is successful then one or two of the smaller operators may give up the ghost, and let’s not forget that players on tables is one thing, and funding an online poker account is another, and with credit card declines still a massive issue in the state, the introduction of Stars into the foray is not going to change that. Time will tell and it looks like we’re set for an interesting period in the short history of online gambling in New Jersey.