Will Pokerstars Finally Launch in New Jersey?Published on April 3rd, 2015 9:04 am EST
Will Pokerstars finally launch in New Jersey this year?
During a recent earnings call following the release of the company's Q4/2014 and FY2014 results, Amaya, Inc. CEO David Baazov was quizzed regarding the company's status in trying to obtain a license to enter the New Jersey online gaming market.
Baazov stated that he expects the company to launch in New Jersey during the third quarter of 2015. If Pokerstars DOES launch in Q3 of 2015 (and this is a big if), they would be opening their virtual doors to New Jersey's residents roughly two years after legal online gaming launched in the state back in November of 2013.
Pokerstars has gone to incredible lengths to try to gain access to the New Jersey market. In 2013, Pokerstars entered into an agreement to purchase the Atlantic Club casino but the deal ended up falling apart. Shortly after that deal fell apart, Pokerstars partnered up with Resorts Club Casino but was stymied once again after the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement suspended their review of the company's license for two years, citing concerns over the company's continued association with Isai Scheinberg.
Last summer, Amaya Gaming reached a deal to purchase Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker. It was thought at the time that this purchase would clear the way for Pokerstars to be granted access to the New Jersey market. Six months later, however, and the company is still on the outside looking in.
There have been rumors that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been personally blocking Pokerstars from entering the New Jersey market. People who believe that Christie is blocking Pokerstars point to the governor's relationship with anti-online gambling crusader Sheldon Adelson. Is Adelson using his clout to block Pokerstars from entering New Jersey? It's certainly a possibility.
Despite seemingly getting all of their ducks in a row, Pokerstars is still not a member of New Jersey's online gaming market. Will things change in 2015? David Baazov seems to think that it's a possibility, though it certainly wouldn't shock anyone if Pokerstars has still not been granted a license by this time next year.
Source: SeekingAlpha.com - Amaya, Inc. Earnings Call Transcript
Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms