PokerStars, the largest online poker business in the world, has recently launched operations in the United States by starting with the state of New Jersey. Its new enterprise is in collaboration with Resorts Casino Hotel since the law requires a tie up with an existing land based gambling operation from the state. The company began operations last Monday, subsequent to a testing period by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement that lasted five days.
The arrival of PokerStars to US shores has been greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm since it has immense potential for growth. The company is not a stranger to the US gambling industry and had operated there until 2011 when the government cracked down on online gambling operations that were illegal at the time. In fact, the Poker industry in the United States still knows the event as Black Friday.
While the launch of PokerStars operations in New Jersey is indeed great news, it has to be noted that only those people who are located within the borders of the state at the time of playing online will be permitted to do so. Needless to say, this will disappoint the large poker playing community in the United States.
Three states in the US permit online gambling at present. They are Nevada and Delaware in addition to New Jersey. The internet gambling business in New Jersey is far bigger than the other two, but the available capacity is far outstripped by the demand. As a matter of fact, it is necessary for the market to cover other jurisdictions for it to become large enough to prosper. As of now, gambling businesses in New Jersey have been trying to work out reciprocal contracts with those in the other two states in order to be able to offer the kinds of prize pools that customers find enticing. Unfortunately, the state hasn’t made much headway when it comes to this issue and this doesn’t bode well for its long term prospects.
The internet gambling industry in New Jersey is now worth $149 million which represents a very satisfactory 21% increase over the previous year. The entry of PokerStars will definitely impact the industry in a positive manner since this is a well established business with an enormous customer base.
Eric Hollreiser, a representative of PokerStars, told the media that the company was very happy to be part of the growing online gambling business in New Jersey. In fact, the Garden State has been on the company’s radar for a long time now. It tried to get licensed in the state twice earlier but got entangled in a few legal problems concerning the acceptance of bets from Americans who were not permitted to gamble online at that time. PokerStars is now owned by internet gaming giant Amaya, and the company executives who were involved with its legal troubles have stepped down. Furthermore, the company paid $547 million in fines to the Department of Justice as part of this legal issue.