Some online poker players in New Jersey were teased last week when a message appeared on a Full Tilt app indicating that the site was licensed in the state.
The message proved to be erroneous, as PokerStars Head of Communications Eric Hollreiser later confirmed. However, prior to confirmation, U.S. Internet poker players got excited at the prospect of PokerStars and Full Tilt once again providing poker offerings in America.
Although licensing approval, if and when it happens, will be limited to New Jersey at first, many players throughout the country are hoping that the arrival of PokerStars would provide a boost to the regulated industry and prompt other states to join in the game. That may well happen, but the decision continues to lie in front of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), who have been dragging their feet with regard to giving the green light.
What’s Taking So Long?
One can only speculate why state gaming regulators have yet to moisten the ink pad and dust off the “Approved” stamp in relation to Amaya’s application to operate online poker and gambling in NJ. After all, when Amaya purchased parent company Rational Group last summer, DGE representatives indicated that it likely wouldn’t be long before players in New Jersey were being dealt poker hands on a PokerStars site.
We are approaching six months since that massive $4.9 billion purchase was announced last August. Yet players in New Jersey continue to play at the likes of Borgata Poker and WSOP.com without really knowing when PokerStars might be added to the mix.
A recent tweet from Senator Ray Lesniak pegged March as a possible time table for approval. One would like to think that Lesniak has inside information and knows of what he speaks. But the online gaming lawmaker and advocate has proven to be somewhat of an optimist in the past, letting his desires for gambling expansion perhaps get in the way of reality.
Give the People What They Want
In any event, the error message got considerable play at poker media sites and on online poker forums. It is evident from the majority of the posts that players in NJ and the U.S. are clamoring for the return of PokerStars, now missing from the U.S. for almost four years.
A bit of good news arrived last week in California with the proposal of a [geolink href=”https://www.usafriendlypokersites.com/pokerstars-applauds-ipoker-bill-introduced-california/”]new online poker bill[/geolink] that was absent of any bad actor clauses. The coalition that includes PokerStars heartily approved of the measure, and we may someday see the top poker site grab a foothold in the U.S. ipoker market in California.
But first things first, as we wait on NJ gaming honchos to make a decision. A decision that has been delayed for whatever reason.
Arguably experts at marketing and promotions, the PokerStars brain trust is expected to pump some life into the regulated online poker industry whenever their arrival is approved. Many are waiting patiently and hoping that March will indeed see the return of PokerStars to the U.S.