PokerStars announces launch back into the US market

By Alex Hammond
Amaya, parent company of the PokerStars brand, has announced that the world’s biggest poker site will be offering online poker in the USA for the first time in almost five years.

The launch, which is set for March 21, comes following the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) authorization for Full Tilt and PokerStars to operate in the state. Following Amaya’s announcement that PokerStars and Full Tilt will merge earlier this month, it appears unlikely that the Full Tilt platform will launch in New Jersey as a separate poker offering.

Beta testing for a limited player base will begin in mid-March. In accordance with US i-gaming regulation PokerStars’ New Jersey offering with be fenced from the rest of the US and the globe, meaning that New Jersey players won’t have access to the international player pool.

PokerStars will be competing with the two existing online poker offerings running in New Jersey, 888 and Caesar’s backed WSOP, and Borgata backed bwin.party. It would not be a surprise if PokerStars has the biggest market share in state within weeks of launch.

Amaya Chairman and CEO David Baazov was clearly delighted to announce the news, saying: “PokerStars is the global leader in online poker and trusted by its customers for its robust and innovative technology, world-class security and game intergrity. We are honoured and excited to now bring these experiences to New Jersey.

“We’re also thankful to Morris Bailey and the fine team at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City and look forward to a successful collaboration.”

Bailey, owner of Resorts Casino Hotel, was equally pleased with the announcement, saying: “Resorts Casino Hotel continues to be the preferred Atlantic City partner and home for outstanding global brands. First with Mohegan Sun and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and now, with PokerStars joing that portfolio, Resorts is poised to offer players the best online and brick and mortor casino experiences anywhere.

“We expect that the launch of PokerStars will further spur the positive momentum we have already made in the New Jersey online gaming market.”

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