Largest poker website returns to US, but only in New Jersey
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The world's largest Internet poker company has set up shop in New Jersey, hoping to give a boost to the nation's largest online gambling market.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement approved PokerStars for full operations in New Jersey on Monday, and the company's software became available for download.
The full launch, which followed five days of supervised test play, marked the re-emergence of the Internet poker giant, which stopped doing business in the United States in 2011.
For now, only PokerStars customers physically located within New Jersey's borders will be able to use its platform to gamble online in the United States.
New Jersey has the largest market of the three U.S. states that currently offer Internet gambling, along with Nevada and Delaware. But some analysts and players say the market needs to expand to other jurisdictions in order to thrive.
New Jersey has been seeking reciprocal compacts with other states and even other countries to offer Internet gambling with larger combined prize pools, but so far it has only succeeded in taking small steps toward that goal.
PokerStars is partnered with Resorts Casino Hotel. The site, pokerstarsnj.com, is New Jersey's 18th Internet gambling site.
PokerStars tried twice in 2013 to get licensed in New Jersey. But the state suspended the company for up to two years, citing legal problems involving some company executives, including an unresolved indictment against its founder.
Some executives stepped down as part of the sale to Amaya Inc. over their involvement in PokerStars' acceptance of bets in the United States after the government made it illegal to take payments in connection with illegal gambling through the Internet.
The PokerStars website paid a $547 million fine to the Department of Justice but didn't admit wrongdoing.
Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC