PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker Finally Get New Jersey License: Expect Tournaments Soon
Amaya Gaming owned PokerStars, the world’s largest real money online poker site, and Full Tilt Poker have finally been granted a New Jersey Web gambling license after well over a year of wrangling.
The state Division of Gaming Enforcement said it approved Amaya Inc. to offer its PokerStars and Full Tilt brands. The company, which is affiliated with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, said the approval allows PokerStars to resume business in the United States. Resorts previously launched online gambling this year with Sportech NYX Gaming LLC while awaiting Stars entry into the market
Special interest groups, including the American Gaming Association, have fought to keep PokerStars from entering the legalized U.S. market. This summer, Amaya found a way in by purchasing Austin, Texas-based Daily Fantasy Sports site Victiv.com in an effort to compete with the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings.
New Jersey officials and outside observers have said the entry of PokerStars could reshape the state's fledgling online betting industry, which had 17 websites, by adding two sites that have 95 million registered users, Wayne Parry of the Associated Press suggested.
More importantly perhaps, PokerStars operates a series of live tournaments that attract thousands of players each year. Atlantic City would almost certainly be added to that agenda.
The PokerStars website, which stopped doing business in the U.S. in 2011, paid a $547 million fine to the Department of Justice but didn't admit wrongdoing. Amaya will put about $400,000 into a trust account with the state for unrecovered funds left from former New Jersey players "so that they may reclaim them," a spokesman said.