PokerStars to Start Operations in New Jersey

PokerStars recently made an announcement that the online players in New Jersey will soon get to play their legal poker games at the world’s biggest poker room. And the poker world in the United States, have been long waiting for PokerStars to finally get up and running in New Jersey. With this announcement, the company has finally get the possibility to enter the US market by third quarter of 2015.


According to the January report released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), the first month of 2015 has been a particularly good one for the online poker industry in New Jersey. The industry generated revenues of $11,567,337, representing an eight-percent increase from the $10,736,118 registered in December.

Back in January 2013, PokerStars entered into an agreement to buy the Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City as it is necessary to have a brick-and-mortar casino for the online gaming site to run the operations in New Jersey. As the Atlantic Club was on the verge of closing, it was really a low-priced deal for PokerStars. Initial reports were that it would have cost PokerStars $50 million, but later reports disclosed that the figure amounted to $11 million. However, the deal didn’t work out in the spring of 2013.

Later in July 2013, PokerStars entered into a partnership with Atlantic City’s Resorts casino but in December 2013, the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement paused its licensing application for two years because of the continued involvement of PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, who still had yet to settle legal issues with the U.S. stemming from the Black Friday indictment.

When PokerStars was purchased by Amaya Gaming in 2014 and Scheinberg left the company, New Jersey regulators considered the poker room’s application again. In October, Amaya and Resorts filed for a transactional waiver but again things got held up. Some New Jersey politicians, including State Senator Ray Lesniak, blamed Governor Chris Christie for blocking PokerStars’ license, accusing him of being in the pocket of online poker hater and Republican mega-donor, Sheldon Adelson.

However, now the dream is actually being realized, and the entrance of PokerStars in the New Jersey online poker market will certainly help in growth and advancement of the industry. Furthermore, the brand and the marketing activities adopted by PokerStars will benefit the industry by attracting new players and increasing its liquidity.